This morning’s pages were solid, a little clumsy in execution but sometimes you have to bully things along to get to the next point. Sometimes you see there’s a chance to portray that moment between characters, but it’s not necessary to the story. Not everything that comes out is gold, and nor should it be. It’s too much pressure, even the finest athlete has a bad session, a bad event. I’m not attributing such values to myself, just that I accept that not every day can be golden. You amass the material, then mine it for the good stuff.
So, I’ve moved things in the direction of the external plot, but it’s flavoured by the movement of the internal plot. There are fantastic works of external machination and fury, but they’re spectacle. I always like to see if I can find what motivates the characters, you should always give them something to want. The simpler it is, the easier to write it down but in the main characters, it should be something that the reader can relate to, emotionally but not always literally. I don’t outline too much, it’s something that I think about but don’t necessarily have to write down anywhere. I would rather show it, an unrealised internal conflict adds tension to the story so long as it serves the story. It’s easy to give someone a bundle of traits and attributes,list them like the information that you would feed into a dating site, but you should let things breathe.
Outlines can be a form of procrastination, I’ve seen some elaborate practices and that’s great for them, but it probably adds unnecessary time to the process. I tend to make a few notes, then dive in. I’ve started books with a single image or an idea, and been comfortable with the fact that they change during the telling into what I actually wanted to talk about. I’m still at the ‘no one is reading’ stage but it’s an important time, where you can develop within your own curriculum. I read for pleasure, and part of that pleasure comes from learning things about the craft and the ways that different authors use different techniques and effects to generate emotion, excitement and connection. I don’t steal because it’s pointless, but I study the underpinnings and see what I can use from a contemplation of it.
I’m for whatever it takes to get something done. Nothing precious, no special hats or bursts of inspiration, no I am just about getting up and getting it done. You know how you have to wash up because you’re out of cups to drink from, that’s my writing philosophy, if I have one. I work towards my goal of being read, of seeing my books compete with everyone else’s. I don’t think that it’s competition, the thing about books is that they are constant in ways that you are not. If you don’t believe me, find a book from childhood, read it again at the age you are now, and write down what observations you make versus the ones you did as a child.
So, Lawful Evil is moving along quite nicely, sure this morning was a bit clumsy but it put me two pages further in and I can cut it later, once it’s finished. Finished work is the game here, for me. The world doesn’t want to read your shavings or leavings, your carefully curated excerpts, they’re out of context and it doesn’t have time for it. It wants a book to read,a film to watch, a kitten on a turntable. Give it work that you’re proud of, in whatever format you can get it out there. People pay money for things, still and if you’re good enough, they’ll give some of it to you.
Please leave comments or questions in the comments below. Thank you for making it this far, now this is where it gets really weird.