Writing Big Year: Complexity

No wonder I’m struggling. I’ve taken what happened – the facts, the dates, the commentary – and stuck it into date order. Then I read my chronology and dream up a plot: the major events. I draft the main plot points: the key scenes. But there are many other background scenes and facts that must be included, so I draft them. The order of events is wrong or the story doesn’t hang together. Out come the scissors.

But then . . . how do I put the mess back together again? Some chapters are straightforward, this one is not.

A future big year but where does the Bell Curve lie?

What I hanker to do is to set up a reviewing site, to review books, albums and movies. The Big Year in, say, 2020 could be to write one review every day. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

Here’s one of the fascinating, geeky aspects of such a notion: if you review a few hundred cultural items in a year, their ratings (say out of 10) will fall on a nice Bell Curve. But you need to determine what average you’ll aim for. Will you be a savage reviewer, with most reviews around 5/10 or 6/10? Or will you presume that anything worth reviewing has value, so that the average should fall at 7/10?

Dreaming of a future Big Year

You jerry-rig a luggage-transport system on a hybrid. The two of you grab a train, cycle 40 kilometers to a forested town in a valley rimmed by hills, where you collapse on a back lawn with beer and crisps, and then dinner is this, a nifty pizza with zucchini, fennel and capers. Oh, and then you cycle and train back home the next day. Not exactly daring but oh, what a splendid intro to the IDEA of cycle touring. As with village-to-village hiking, there’s something about journeying DIY (no tour groups!) that appeals mightily to me.

Maybe just maybe, some future year might max out on such trips, only longer and more challenging, with finely tuned gear.