So the weekend begins. For me, since I usually work on the weekends, they aren’t such a big deal. Except I have two days off in a row (such luxury! All I have to do is clean house and do homework) and a story in my head talking to me. Or rather, in this tale’s case, talking, while I listen. I’m still trying to stem off the flow on this one. I will begin as soon as finals are over, but before, I need to study. Why are the stories always loudest when we least need them to be? And inversely, they fall silent when there is nothing to do but stare at the blank page or blinking cursor. Frustrations and annoyances.
Yet still I write. So why write? Because ever since I was perhaps ten, I have been telling myself stories at times I couldn’t have a book in my hands. I started to write them on paper much later (from a child’s POV) because I hated physically writing up until I was 14. Mom had to stand over me with a whip and a chair (kidding, kidding!) to get me to put more than two sentences on paper. It wasn’t until I had an English teacher not-my-mother who coaxed a story out of me that I discovered the wonder there is in penning a tale.
But somewhere in the next few years it all went askew, and I wound up writing poetry until I was married and a mother. Then the stories became the thing, although the poetry still kept persisting (against my will, you understand, and rarely shared. Most of it is beyond bad). I don’t believe I ever finished a full story, though. I just wrote beginnings, and genealogies, and maps, and…
It wasn’t until just a couple of years ago that I discovered why I couldn’t finish a story (beyond sheer immaturity, because I know that was part of it). I was outlining and plotting too much on paper. Essentially, by laying out those bare bones, my mind was satisfied, and the tale was told, and my muse said “Oooh! Shiny!” and went on to another project. So it isn’t that I want to be a pantser, it’s that I have to be one. Although with Trickster Noir I learned that I could plot ahead a bit, to keep the tale on track, but not too much.
The other thing I learned about myself during the writing of Trickster (which is now available for purchase, by the way!) is that if I sit down and pound out words, with a set deadline, and few interruptions, I am capable of a prodigious wordcount in relatively little time. I know there are others who can write faster and more copiously, but the thing is, it’s only been a little over a year since my first novel was published, and three years since I began writing it. When I started on Vulcan’s Kittens I didn’t think I could ever write anything longer than 10K words. Putting out just under 100K in six weeks was… a revelation to myself.
I’m about to do it again. I have from May 16 to June 30 to write The God’s Wolfling. Ok, until June 27, so I have time to go to LibertyCon. So if you see me at the con and I seem a bit frayed about the edges and dreamy-eyed, that’s what it is. Post-partum euphoria. I’m not shooting for 100K for this book, that would be too long when the first one is less than 60K. But I’d like to hit at least 70K in this six-week period.
I’m already reading back through the first book, making notes (I did look, and there is no Android app for Scrivener. Since I use my tablet when I am at school or away from home to make the notes, I’m using Evernote for now. At home I get distracted too easily from it). So that’s the state of this writer. In need of coffee, and to attend to her list, but first I had a duty to my readers. It’s an odd thing, but you all keep me in line, some days. If I can’t help writing, it’s nice to know I have an audience and that’s not a wasted effort.
(click on icon below to find Trickster Noir, or visit here for other versions)