Writer's Commentary: This Time

On Post: This Time
Date: January 8
In contrast to Fall on Me, a post I initially hated but have since softened on (as revealed in the commentary), I was pretty okay with this one when I first finished. Now…I think it is just an ugly mess.
I don’t dislike the idea in and of itself. In fact, I kind of like it. I think it honors the song in a non-obvious way by having someone else relate the story of one of those lousy, but seemingly never-ending relationships that I especially remember as part of the high school dating scene. I could have just done a piece from the perspective of one of the people in the relationship or a bit of dialogue between them, so I liked that I did not go there. In retrospect, the only idea that I had and liked that I discarded too soon was doing a piece from the point of view of one of the parents watching this unhealthy relationship unfold.
In any case, though, I don’t think the plot choice is the problem.
I also like the intro, which, for me anyway, creates a good environment for the story to unfold in and one that I believe most could picture.
It all goes off the rails with the characters, I think. For one thing, I am not sure I ever really figured out their relationship to one another. I think I started out with Nick and Rebecca as work friends in my head, with one or both of them possibly crushing on the other, then sort of moved towards a straight up first date situation, and back again. Both could be true at the same time, of course, but I don’t think I ever really make the choice to go both or one or the other and the “voices” suffer because of it.
In reading it, it also seems like I just wrote and wrote until I found an end. Sometimes that’s just fine, but with this project, where I consciously did not go back and edit things, it left the entry a mess. It goes on too long and it meanders too. That’s a deadly combination, interest wise.
The ending also does not do me any favors either. It’s so abrupt and unearned. I was telling this story about lousy relationships and veered off into sentimentality. Just not well done.
All of this is too bad too, because there are moments that work. The back and forth about the transition from one era of life to the next where kissing used to going far and is suddenly nothing at all or the back and forth about Chapman, for instance, are two parts I think work well.
Overall though…not a good entry.
Just because the Project has ended doesn't mean I still don't value your feedback. Feel free to let me know on Twitter (@UnGajje) or drop me a note at tim[dot]g[dot]stevens[at]gmail[dot]com or on Facebook. If you see anything you like, I am all over the net too, so please check out my other works at Marvel, Complaint of the Week at the Living Room Times, and New Paris Press (which is now up and running) or my various 140 character missives on that Twitter account.