Dispatches, thoughts, and miscellanea from writer Jon Konrath

All traditional forms of fiction look broken

I’m at the point in writing where all traditional forms of fiction look broken, and all of the pieces of my life around me look strange and disjointed, and I doubt everything and wonder how things happened. I can’t easily explain this, but it’s the sort of thing where I sit and look at a Coke can for 20 minutes and think about HOW a Coke can got the way it did, and why wasn’t it a triangle or a tube that was a centimeter wide and three feet long, or how they formed the metal or whatever. And then I think about how Coke cans have remained unchanged in a sense for years and years, but sometimes I find a picture of a Coke can from like 1990 or even 1997 and every aspect of it looks so different, but I can’t entirely tell HOW. And I look at everything like this, but more than that I look at writing like this, and think way too much about stuff, and flip through some random book and think, “WHY does this work?” and you start to see all of these strange patterns, like that more words or more descripton doesn’t always build a bigger picture. Sometimes less or even no words burns an indelible image in your head. It’s like looking at a stick figure, or a dot-matrix image, and your brain fills in the blanks as to what isn’t there. I have images stuck in my head from books I read 20 years ago, and when I go back and re-read the same books, I think “how the hell did that move me so much?” It’s all a very confusing way to look at things, but I feel a need to get through it before I do anything else, because I feel my current writing is pretty lame.

I’m going to see Dee Snider tonight, which should be interesting. I think one of the first tapes I ever got was Twisted Sister – Stay Hungry. I don’t know what stuff he will play tonight, but it should be cool. Other than that, I just ate a bunch of Chinese food and now I feel like I am going to pass out from MSG poisoning. I think I need another Coke.