Wednesday, October 27, 2010
The Spaces Between
So, in the very first week of throwing the gauntlet and promising to do a lot of writing, I didn’t do any.
I have tons of excuses – there was Mile Hi con which inexplicably tired me more than it should. Then again, it sounded like a consumptive ward, so perhaps there’s some bug going around. Then there was this trip, which I’m dreading because it involves – horrors – flying and I hate flying. Also, we haven’t been to World Fantasy Con in years, and as you know – or perhaps not – there is a “con cloud of acquaintance” (defined as the people you look forward to seeing at each particular con, also those you can count on to run interference for you, etc.) and in the years we’ve been absent, we probably don’t have our acquaintance comfort zone, anymore. So, it’s almost like a brand new con. (And yeah, hard as this is to believe, for those of you who only know me from cons, I’m not comfortable in public. I just put on a good show.)
But beyond the excuses there is something else. Oh, not on the shorts. I’ve been doing revisions on old ones of those, and it will take me a while to get back to the swing of things. At least two weeks. However, there is a reason nothing got written on the novel – I’m in one of my patches of silence. I hit these periodically. And yeah, sometimes it means I took a false step. But most of the time it just means it goes... silent.
Some of you know I can – and have – write a novel in two weeks. So, you ask, why don’t I write twenty novels a year? The answer is these patches of silence. I’ve fought them for years. It’s not that I don’t know what the next chapter is – I do. Or that the novels feels wrong – it doesn’t. It’s more like the next scene/chapter/whatever needs to ripen. Seems to be part of my process, as annoying as it is.
I expect to hit the ground running and after WFC, I want to finish two novels (both started) for NANOWRIMO (what? It surprises anyone I NANOWRIMO?) The Brave And The Free and A Fatal Stain.
Are you NANOWRIMOing? Have you done it before? How did it go? Are there periods of silence in your writing life? If so, what purpose do you think they serve?
For those who picked up the gauntlet and are having trouble coming up with ideas, here are a few suggestions.
1 – write a story with the following: character: gymnast; setting: a siege; problem: a feint
2- three words (feel free to discard one): brush, landmark, spoonful
3- start with: Being dead wasn’t the problem.