Friday, 11 November 2016
Yeah, so, Here Goes . . .
"Yeah, I did a lot today." I could lie to myself. Or, I could be honest, but in a false hope kind of way. Because if I wake up and there's no coffee, and then I hear that something devastating, like a racist, bigoted tyrant just took over a powerful country, yeah writing may feel difficult and even putting six words on a page may feel like a success.
But we remember emotions more than we remember facts, and if I feel like I've done a lot, when in reality I've only written eleven words one day, then I kinda suck at my job of "writing a story". So, on the days when I only write 300 words, I don't look at it and go "I suck", I look at it and go "I need to be better".
But one thing that has amazed me greatly are what I call my green days. See, whilst I make it black and white for the sake of this post, when I write on that little NaNoWriMo calendar, when I've written under my quota, I score it in red. But when I exceed my quota, I write it in green - they have the plus signs (+) beside them, if you're curious. And on both of those occasions, I have been on fire.
Also, I have been in my father's study writing with the air conditioning on, so I may try to do that more often, to see if it's the heat that's making my slow days even slower. But, I have just sat down and blazed through. And both of those occasions, it's something I have had in my mind for a while: The first painting; the crash - both of these scenes I have had in mind ever since I started this venture, and I have researched, so when it came time to write them I just threw them down.
Tappity-tappity-tap. Keyboard keys were flying.
There are two other things I feel the need to mention, then I will disappear back into my writing-hole.
Firstly, I felt the need to do field research. This was unusual, because I am used to just using Google Maps to find a location, and I adapt it as needed. When I wrote Chapter 13 of Duke forever, Kindred of the Gods, I picked a beach and pretended there was a church on it. But because this is a novel, and because I am writing my story in my home country and local town (Brisbane represent!) I didn't want to lie about how the city looked. So, in one scene where my character was literally climbing all over the buildings, I got in my car, drove to the spot I'd found on Google Maps, and I took as many photos as I could. Then I came home, wished I'd taken more photos (It's always the way, isn't it? You're there, think "I don't want to overdo it". Then get back and go "crap, I underdid it".)
I did take enough to manage to write the scene. I think it's because I am actually, properly planning on trying to get this story published, so I don't want to just wing it; but, that moment preceded one of my green days, when I was writing on fire, because I had an impulse "I need this in order to write the story", and when I had it, I just went with it all the way to Chapter 3.
Another thing I noticed was that music . . . helps. I like background noise, but the thing is, I am a bit scared of heights. Not ultimately so, but quite a bit; enough that I don't like leaning on railings in most circumstances just in case. But, I didn't want my character to have that. Gene is a bit more wild, a bit more out there and free. So, when I had her climb up the building, I decided that she would feel free.
I did that by listening to Katy Perry's Rise. Not because I think that is the best, inspirational song or anything, it's just that I was in the middle of a writing session, I needed something about height and being excellent, and that's the first one that came to mind. And listening to that whilst I was writing was perfect, I got this image in my head, and it's not much, but it helped to create that scene.
But then I had to stop. Because the next scene was tense, and I was looking for a song that represented that; then the next scene was eye-opening and mind-blowing, so I was looking for a song that evoked that . . . unfortunately, I failed both times, and my story stopped dead when my playlist did.
So, I went back to playing videos of people talking in the background. I think, if you have a few important scenes in your story that you want to be inspired by a song, you need to rack that playlist up in advance, because it really did stop my writing dead for two minutes the other day.
To be frank, I'm surprised that I find stuff to talk about. I would love to tell you about the story, but it's a surprise. Like I said, I want to publish this one. the only other thing I can tell you is . . . I don't have a title.
I have a "working title", but it sucks. I don't like it. I was trying to find a term that tied together, paint, graffiti, space and aliens . . . but it's still evading me.
Hopefully, I'll find something suitable before I get too far. In the meantime, I'm the Absurd Word Nerd, wishing you all the best of luck. Pens on papers, fingers on keyboards, we still have a long way to go . . .