The great film director Stanley Kubrick built his films in sections like five or six blocks that were put together to create a coherent whole. His masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey, is probably the clearest example of this technique. The movie is composed of four separate sections. The first and last are essentially silent films. The two middle bits are unflinching in their depiction of deep space travel. Mr. Kubrick is in command. The film contains the biggest jump cut of all time — a 10,000 year leap. It features a computer with more emotion, empathy and conflict than any of the humans. It utilizes classical in new innovative ways. Who before would have associated the Blue Danube with a trip to the moon?
Kubrick wasn't afraid of bucking traditional narrative form. He wasn't afraid of experimentation and risks. He knew that if you can get one part right, you will have the confidence to move on to the next. Stanley Kubrick believed in bricks. He's was a bricklaying genius. In 2001 there were four big ones.
I didn't think I could write good prose for more than eight hundred words. But when I took Kubrick's technique and applied it to fiction, it seemed to make everything much easier. I didn't cement four huge massive blocks side-by-side to create an odyssey about evolution. Instead, I used stepping stones, baby steps, eight hundred word units placed with care and confidence. Get one right, then move on to the next. When enough are in line, stand back and look at the whole. Hopefully there will be a path.