Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Mute Nostril Agony

I'm quite fond of saying that there's nothing easier in the world than writing the first 50 pages of a novel (it's not original, but I've long forgotten who I'm quoting). That early on, it's all possibility, no logistics. No holes in character, plot, motivation to fill.


Having said that, I've blasted through the first 10,000 words of the New Novel in just one month, and riding high on the euphoria right now. That's roughly the first tenth of the thing. I am sure in six months I'll be wallowing in the horse latitudes of writer's block, but right now it's like turning on a faucet.

The weird bit is that, other than some short stories, this is the first time I've done any sustained writing with the girls in the house. With the Old Novel, while kid-less, I'd write at exactly the same time every day, and at the same place. I'd sit and build each paragraph slowly, methodically, thoughtfully. I'd ponder for long minutes which exact adjective to use.

This go-round, if the perfect adjective doesn't jump out at me, then fuck it, I go straight to the noun. I write when I can, where I can, trying to get as much down as I can before the girls start arguing over the Wii, or someone skins a knee, or the phone rings for a playdate or a birthday party. Gotta stay fast, and loose, and lean. Otherwise it's not gonna get done.

And it's made me a better writer. I think.

I worry at times that it's a little too loose. I'm juggling 8 different points of view, and this odd literary/sci-fi hybrid thing I'm trying to build might ultimately prove unwieldy when it gets a little bigger. Lotsa balls in the air.

So. We shall see. But right now I can't wait to flip up the screen of the laptop and get to it.

Anyone get the title reference? No fair using Google.


Eric Shonkwiler said...

10k in a month is excellent. Keep it up.

I don't know the reference, but I know I've got some nostril agony of my own going on.

meno said...

Spinal Tap?

I dunno, that's what came to mind. You old enough for Spinal Tap?

Gordo said...

Don't sweat the looseness. That's what an editor is for. :-)

In a previous professional life as a journalist, all of my best stuff just flowed. It was like turning a hose of words on and soaking the page. The pondering and crafting stuff was usually ponderous drek.

No idea about the reference, but with the temp at -19C right now, we have frozen nostril issues.

Irrelephant said...

Go loose! Er...yea, that sounds horrible. No idea where the quote is coming from--you channeling a certain gonzo journalist?

Clowncar said...

Come on, people. It's obscure, but it's not that obscure. From the Door's "Horse Latitudes." Starts out with Jim Morrison screaming "When the still sea conspires in armor, true sailing is dead!"

meno said...

Man, we're a lame bunch!