Sunday, May 07, 2017

If You Seek A Good Story, Stop Seeking!

 May 7, 2017
   Spent the weekend working on The Great Western and Olive Oatman stories. They are related and will be part of a big packaged, cover story feature in the September issue of True West.

Seeking A Good Story
   The story is there, I know it's good, but how do I tell it in a compelling way? Here are a couple theories I poached from Adam Gopnik:

• Having two emotions at once is better than having one emotion repeatedly.

• We all have "mixed emotions," anchored in our soul's harbor. "They bang hulls inside our skull."

• In good stories there is a placement of opposites in close relation. "There is also the balancing of opposites, the rhythm of assertion and counter-assertion, the sudden questioning turns, life living is role playing. . ."
—Adam Gopnik

• What is needed is a conscience speaking through contradiction. Sounds easy, but we must have a knowledge of our own absurdity but it should not diminish the importance of our witness.

Daily Whip Out: "Dr. Bugs"

   So, I seek to tell the complicated story of Olive Oatman in all her contradictions. But I get bogged down in too many aspects of the story, too many ideas and images (see Dr. Bugs, above). It doesn't help that I'm doing the drawing and writing. The biggest criticism of our Mickey Free project was perhaps best critiqued by Vince Murray who said that it "had too many moving parts." It was confusing and convoluted. Not sure how to strip it all down, but I do know one thing:

Daily Whip Out: "Dammit, I just want to tell a good story!"

   I wonder if ol' Hermann has the answer?

"When someone seeks," said Siddhartha, "then it easily
happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and
he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he
always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he
has one goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking
means: having a goal. But finding means: being free, being
open, having no goal."

—Hermann Hesse

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