The Story behind "Within You, Without You"

Some of you might have already known that I and some of my friends created a joint blog project for our loneliness-themed fiction. Sounds bleak, huh? Well, I can't promise you anything, but despite its gloomy premise, the authors are pretty excited about it. Sometimes, I think we're too hyper for a bunch of young adults who write about loneliness, haha.

Within You Without You by Chickaferdy, taken from here

"Within You, Without You" is the title of my story (you can read the first chapter here) in Illufiction. It's a combination of several projects I haven't finished or even put into realization. A manuscript of novel I wrote in junior high school that was stopped abruptly in the middle of chapter two. Sporadic scenes from another novel-to-be (also from junior high era) that I abandoned because I "can never got the plot right". And recently, a plan for a project called "The Beatles Babbles" in which -true to its name- I will babble random things related to randomly selected Beatles' songs. These all are projects I really want to do, but I have no time for (seriously, I bite too much than what I can swallow) or have been taking too much time to plan without any hope for realization. So I combine all of them and force myself to finish it, haha.

My concept is this : I use the plot of my half-developed novel (which I have written sporadically using very early teen-ish writing style. Yuck). Yes, that one whose plot is never seems to be right. Then what can I do to fill the plotholes? I choose the method George Harrison once used when he wrote "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" (my favourite song written by Harrison, by the way). He opened a book at random page and used the first words/phrase that caught his eyes to make a song, and the first phrase he read is "gently weeps". He believed that everything happened for a reason, there are no coincidence, and this was a sign that he was destined to write what would become one of Harrison's most important (IMO) songs. There are some alteration though...instead of using words from a book like Harrison did, I use my playlist to randomize Beatles songs, and I will use the first song played as a theme for the chapter. Yes, it might be a big problem if the song turn out to be "I Am A Walrus", "Maxwell Silver's Hammer", or the likes, but I'll figure out something then...

Naaaah, don't worry, I won't have my characters suddenly turned into walrus halfway through the story....
Picture taken from here
The title "Within You, Without You", was taken from a song that, honestly, I have never listened to. It was decided that the title would be taken from a Beatles song, but I had a hard time choosing which Beatles song that would be. I had this list I used to track down every Beatles song I have listened (one of my goals in Dayzeroproject) and googled the lyrics from those that seem potential. When this lyric caught my eyes, I just stopped and stared for a while:
When you've seen beyond yourself, then you may find peace of mind is waiting there - And the time will come when you see we're all one, and life flows on within you and without you.
Life flows on within you and without you, that life will continue with or without us. We're just dust in the wind, a very little part of this intricate webs of life... we just influenced a tiny bit of it. This reminds me to Erich Fromm's concept of human's basic needs; one of them is this longing to be united with the universe. Because I don't want to spoil the story line, let's just say it is similar with the themes I want for my story. So, "Within You Without You", it is.

I asked my little brother if he had the song so I can listened to it. As a far bigger Beatles geek than I was, he might feel a little bit insulted, haha. He said of course he had it, but it turned out that the version he had is the instrumental version. Heavily colored by sitars and oriental instruments, as expected from Harrison's songs after Beatles' visit to India (which turned him into more religious person, and further his inclination to eastern philosophy and religion). I couldn't say I like the instrumental version ...but I fell in love with the lyric, so be it.

As for the chapter title, it's "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Cry (Over You)". Very rock and roll tunes with not-that-thought-provoking lyric, typical of Beatles' songs from earlier era. It's a song about a boy threatening his girlfriend that "if she leaves him, he's going to sit down and cry over her". Not a very manly thing to do, right...but the title sounds good nevertheless. It makes me think about a character saying, "Life, please wait while I sit down and cry over someone," and after that, she/he will resume his/her life, looking like nothing happened, while actually the wound inside his/heart would never be completely healed. At least that's the feeling I want to convey, hahahaha.

The main character, Cecilia, is taken from another untitled project that I didn't finish because of a reason I have already forgotten. I always like the sound of "Cecilia"; the combination of "C"s and "L" that somehow seems like a perfect name for a child but not for an adult. There's a pretty, eternally young feeling to the name "Cecilia". Someone who is unsure about her life. It is fit with the meaning behind the name : "the way for the blind" (from Latin word 'caecus', meaning 'blind')...and how I want this particular character to be. this what we called destiny? Grandpa Harrison, I think I share your view about this...

I can't tell you much about the story, though, mostly because I don't know where some part of this story will go, too. Initially my draft was called "Philophilia (Loving Love)"...silly title, I know.  The story was told from two perspectives, a girl with pessimistic view of life and a boy who was always feel intimidated by his womanizer brother and spinster sister. The jokes were not funny. The sad part makes me laugh out loud. The plot was incredibly blah. Not good, not good.  In the end I'm just going to rewrite all those mess...hahahah.

I postpone the writing of chapter two until I GET THIS FINAL EXAM THINGY FINALIZED. GRAAAAAAH I DON'T HAVE ANYONE TO BLAME OUTSIDE FROM MYSELF. It's hard to "love yourself" if you are this big procrastinating lump who always make the same mistake over and over again. More rant about that later...hahaha.

Hopefully after these all end I can grow to love myself again.

Amen to that...



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