09 January 2008


After not touching my novel since September, in the last week I've been taking another look at it and trying to do some polishing to what I've already written. I'm still stuck; there's a point where I've glossed over a whole chapter because I'm not sure how/what to write, and last summer I just gave up, moving forward from that point. Which was fine for a while; but now I'm stuck again.

I have the entire story arc worked out, know where I want to go, even have ideas (nebulous, but still) for subsequent adventures featuring my 2 main characters. But I'm struggling to move it forward from where I'm stuck. How to get from x to y, when it isn't a straight line.

I have been thinking about J K Rowling lately, and how she had the idea for the entire HP series whilst on a train. And then she worked on it for more than a decade, all told. I'm not that patient. I want to be done with the story and to be shopping it to editors and publishing houses. Because I've decided that I definitively want it to be published. I've gone from just wanting to write because I didn't like anything I'd picked up to read lately, to vainly wanting to see my name in print, so that when I wander in to a bookstore I find MY BOOK sitting there.

The Very Hot Jews had a post a few weeks ago about how to run for president you've got to be a sociopath. (True dat, no?) When I worked in and around the health care industry, I decided that to become a physician, you had to be one arrogant sonavabitch, male or female, to survive medical school and the internship process. Otherwise the withering criticism of an older doctor or battle-axe nurse would be enough to have you huddled in the corner, whimpering.

Writers, I think, need to spend a whole lot of time living inside their own heads. I didn't stumble upon my story idea while having superfast conversations with my bffs; it came to me in moments of quiet contemplation, all by myself. I am a solitary person and gregarious at the same time, which is a strange dichotomy. I suppose that's a bit of a mystifying statement, but it is true.

I am bored when I'm driving in the car from point A to B if I'm not gabbing on the phone to someone (you SO don't want my mobile phone bill, I promise) but at the same time, I treasure time to myself. I need time alone. I was a pretty solitary kid; you'd find me nestled in the branches of a tree at my parent's first home, reading, more often than running about with the neighborhood kids. The 'rents used to joke that you could set an explosion off next to me while I was reading, and I'd never notice, so lost did I get in other worlds.

When I'm writing, I'm completely immersed in the moment of storytelling. I had to quit last night around 10pm because I had an early meeting today, and it was damn near impossible to sign out of the program and turn off the computer. Now that I've finally got some inspiration back, I don't want to walk away from it.

I carry around a blank book in case something strikes me, a turn of phrase or a description, or something a character might do or say. And I dutifully write it down if I'm not in front of the 'puter. But it takes nearly all my control to not quit whatever else I'm doing to get back in front of the computer and frantically type.

I suppose that's good; but the last time I had such mania for writing, it was the predicator to a backslide in my mental health.

Geez, I need a worry-stone, or a trouble box to stash all of this ridiculous worrying into, so that I can stop worrying and start DOING!

On another note entirely....

How about Hilliary winning in New Hampshire? I'm still fence-sitting. Barak? Hilliary? Barak? Hilliary?


Dawna said...

I don't know how JK Rowling did it with a wee one. When you've got kids, getting that alone time is hard.

Writing, heh. Seems so easy yet can be so damned hard.

Lucy Arin said...

"seems" being the operative word there.

I'm just glad that Muse saw fit to visit me again.