Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Every book is different.

It's a bit of a cliche, but so true.

I've never written a book like The Darkness You Fear. I'm full of ideas for the book, but when I sit down to write, the words are just trickling out.

Frankly, and I probably shouldn't say it, usually the words are outrunning the ideas. I purposely slow down the word count to regenerate ideas, because I'm quite capable of writing a couple thousand words with shallow content.

But with this book, the themes are deep enough that when I approach a chapter they are already pregnant, and I'm just trying to give birth.

And it's been agony.

Yesterday was a good example. I knew exactly what I wanted to achieve, I had some starting ideas. Even though it was raining hard, I drove to my usual spot in the Badlands. I find that just driving down the road seems to generate the urge to write.

So I sat there for an hour in the rain, the windows fogging up, trying to produce the words to describe the vision in my head, and eking out maybe 300 words.

Then the skies cleared, rainbows broke out everywhere, and even though it was extremely windy, it was also warm so I went for my usual walk. Along the way, the rest of the ideas of what I wanted to write came to me.

So the entire chapter was blocked out, and that is usually the hard part.

I stop midway, and eke out another 500 words. I'm only 1/3rd my goal with half of the usual writing day over. I get back to the car a couple hours later, and sit and eke out another 300 words. It starts raining again.

I get home, I take a nap, I try to summon the words, and nothing comes.

Linda gets home, it's the time when I'm usually relaxing after a productive day, and I'm still a good 1000 words from my goal. Finally, at about 8:00, I get the final push and finish the chapter. I think it's good, but it feels sketchy. The important thing, is that I got the IDEAS down. The writing can be improved later.

It's an interesting -- and new --- experience, not having the words come despite being clear where I'm going. As I've said, I think this is going to be a good book, with some depth, if I can just managed to wrangle it together.

I wonder if this is how other writers feel all the time. I'm just trying to be disciplined. Getting the work done. Really, when you get right down to it, the tapping of words on the computer probably only takes an hour or two. All the rest is trying to create the mood and conditions for those two hours of production to happen.

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