Deletions from the Cloud: Post Workshop – Transcendental Taxi

Workshop came and went.  It’s always nerve wracking.  I don’t care how many years you’ve been writing, or what you’ve won.  You sit with a group of people who’ve read your work, you keep your mouth shut, and you write everything they say.  It’s a flood of information as an hour is spent going over your story.  What works, what doesn’t work?  Why this, why not that?

Needs Work

Title:

 First off, the title needs some work.  I’m going to hang onto it for something.  When I decided on it, I was thinking of cloud storage.  There’s a few sentences talking about people being reduced to records.  Also, Nick has Audrey’s voice saved as a message in the cloud, at a telecommunication server farm.  This only made sense to me.  For now, I’ll refer to the story under the working title: The Transcendental Taxi.

Nick/Emerson:

A few people thought he was the same character.  They’re not the same character, but I might be able to add some more in there.  Not really an issue though.

Time:

This was a major issue going in.  I knew it was going to seem confusing.  For some readers it was a problem, for others, not so much.  I can clear that up though.

Haziness:

 What’s vague because I wanted it vague, and what’s vague because I didn’t have a good answer at the time?  I need to clear up these issues.

There are always details that hang people up.  No number on the card.  I’ll add a sentence of Emerson writing his number on the card.  I want the mystery of a card with no number.  And I want the cab to be this sort of underground experience, passed by word of mouth.

Positive Feedback

What’s interesting about writing workshops is seeing your work through other people’s eyes.  You may write something, but it may be interpreted differently than how you imagined.  Also, you might have done things at more of a subconsiious level without realizing what you were doing.  Isn’t that why English professors have jobs?

Settings:

The apartment = Nick’s past.
The Someday Cafe = place where Nick’s past and future commingle.
Transcendental Taxi = Nick’s future.

I’d never thought about that, but it makes sense.  It’s cool.

Another great thing that was picked up on is that Emerson is sort of a Charonesque character.  He’s in a between place ferrying Nick among realities.

Random praise:

Haunting, cool settings, great characters, story has a pulse, great images/descriptions, appropriate ending, surreal, successful present tense, blunt, raw, a haunting dream.

For now, I’m going to revise the story as it is.  People seemed to like it, and I got a lot of encouraging comments.  After I revise it though, I’m going to look at re-writing it as I mentioned before, but give it a different title, and treat it as a different story.

Music I listened to while writing this story:

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds: The Boatman’s Call; Dig, Lazarus, Dig!!!; From Her to Eternity
The National: High Violet
Arcade Fire: The Suburbs
Tom Waits: Closing Time, Nighthawks at the Diner
Sigur Rós: Ágætis byrjun
There was probably some other bands/songs I listened to, but these were played the most.

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