Process Diary

Process Diary


The Strip



Be safe



Warning: Thick Smoke, Dim Lights, Loud Music, Welcome to Egan’s

Kevin Gates

Mofro Brown


  • I started by collecting text from the pictures and situating my character, Kevin, at the “strip” in Tuscaloosa.
  • Writing spontaneously, I try to invigorate my imagination by contrasting darkness and the kinds of things that you can do in darkness with light and the limits of behavior in the light. The interesting thing to me is that light should be the place that revelations are made and shadows revealed, but for most of us, it is in the darkness that we are willing to let go our inhibitions for the very reason that we cannot be seen. We privately wish to be seen for who we are, but light causes us to retreat into the image of who we think we are expected to be.
  • I found myself reading and rereading the text especially in the beginning as though there might be some key to unlocking a better story in the weak lines already written. It does allow me to see cohesive threads like darkness and water and light, and to complicate the character in a way that might invoke the kind of contrasts that I seem to be reaching for.
  • Stopped writing to take a twenty-minute break. I want to write strait through, but I seem to be addicted to mental editing, and revising, maybe narrowing down the scope of the story. Eight-hundred or so words make me afraid of waste, and makes me want to know the story before I write it. Put on another jacket on cause its cold in my office/manroom in the basement.
  • I am really curious as to how I can express my thoughts without making Kevin too seedy. I think that he really just wants to be known, but since he feels that what he sequesters in his heart – whatever that may be – must remain in darkness, he can only be known in the darkness. He searches for unity without discovery. What he experiences in the darkness really seems like another step in his process of avoiding being known. He takes his most carnal inclinations and privately expresses them in a very crowded public place. The crowd becomes his intimate, his lover, his rapist, and he gets a sense of satisfaction from that, from being known in this way. He doesn’t know what love is like and attempts to elevate his experience by siphoning the energies of a single multitude.
  • My body seem to say that I am aware of being filmed which reminds me that I am writing this as a class assignment which makes me a little too aware of my instructor.
  • Taking a break seems to have done some good for my morale. I have finished the rough draft without too many hiccups. Kevin still seems too seedy, but the overall plot has been set. Now its time to go back and consider the language and whether or not it works for my thematic intentions. I think that I will save this first version and take another break before commencing with the editing/revision process. Then I will turn screen capture back on and see how I approach this process. Some of the things that I do when I write essays should come in handy, but I think some new processes might be in order too. See ya in a few minutes.
  • Ok, I had to nap because I was up at 3:oo am screencasting my writing process. Now I am going to go back to the document that I am calling Kevin Gates for now and begin correcting, folding, revisiting and revamping. As it stands, I don’t know how much of this I should do. A Little? A Lot? Writing is an unfinished business. I have to determine when to let this go. Open a new document and copy the rough over for changes. Highlight areas that obviously need clarification or mystification – depending…

Ok here are a list of changes:

  • 1). “Shoulders that carried the chip which had haunted him” to “a chip”
  • 2). “he sheltered” to “he resisted” – still unhappy with word choice
  • 3). “cut “forcing light beneath the doors of his closeted neurosis” for “. These structures keep light on the surface of things”
  • 4). Changed “He walked by the sign that introduced the strip as though it were a subsection of the city rather than a appendage on the overall body. To “He walked by a sign that introduced the strip; an appendage of Tuscaloosa, a place where a man could disappear without the surveillance of social expectations.”
  • 5). Changed “Gates slipped through like shadow between two tall boisterous girls whose distraction allowed him to keep the ten still crumpled in his hand” to “Gates slipped between two tall boisterous girls whose distraction allowed him to keep the ten still crumpled in his hand and entered the musky establishment.”
  • 6). Changed various little definite articles.
  • 7). Changed “with bodies rolling and pushing and shrieking” to “The crowd excited him. He could feel his sex rushing to the surface in the dark as bodies rolled and pushed to the bass and drum bringing his thrill to the edge of climax.”
  • 8). Changed “that it is a popper” to “It was a popper”
  • 9). for throat lubrications. A reward is offered. The crowd touches Kevin on every side and the slipped member unites with the rhythm of the Drum and Bass, awkwardly at first and then steady, steady , steady. Kevin’s heart races with the driving kick and the tingling in his skin rises” to “and waves for alcohol. He drinks it down pulling the last drops of lubricant down his dry throat. The crowd continues touching Kevin on every side and the refreshed member reunites with the rhythm of crowd and the Drum and the Bass, awkwardly at first and then steady, steady , pounding. Kevin’s heart races with the driving kick and the tingling in his skin rises and falls with the resonance of filters that sweep an audio bliss over the frenzied congregation.”
  • 10). Changed “and lubricates the vaginal wall” to “the fluid that prophesies a lubricated ecstasy”
  • 11). Changed “Kevin signaled for one more drink and paid his dues” to “Kevin signaled for one more drink and swallowed it whole.”
    • After a few more minor adjustments, I saved the file. Right now the word count sits at 972 and it must come out as 850. At this point a reader would be a great asset (if only I had one!), but I will let it rest for a day or two and come back ‘round to it.