Wednesday, February 17, 2010

99 problems, and a plot ain't one

Apparently, it takes me thirty thousand words to find a plot. Or at least it does for this book, My Nemesis,  The Novel What Ate My Brain, The Widening Gyre. (And yes, now that I actually know what this is about that may change again. One Thousand Titles in Search of a Story, anyone?)


I had characters, and a really cool world for them to run around it. There were conflicts. Things were happening. What I didn't have is the why, the driving engine for the story. I printed out the draft, made notes, sat at my notebook at made an appalling number of false starts. (Seriously, if books had DVD extras, I already have enough for two discs worth of bloopers and deleted scenes.)


I cleaned my house. I began organizing my desk. I ran through all the usual displacement activities that I do when the writing isn't working. I thought seriously about organizing my spice rack. And then, when I was getting Sam I Am's dinner ready, the why of the story dropped into my head. 


Sometimes writing looks like baking, or sorting through papers. I'm really glad that today, writing looks like writing again.

3 comments:

  1. Sometimes you have to distract yourself just enough that you forget what you're doing, and fly. Or something like that. Douglas Adams said it better, of course.

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  2. Thanks!

    Andy, you, (and Mr. Adams) are right. I'm sort of amazed at how often I figure out writing related things when I'm doing something completely pedestrian, like cooking or running. Stories are strange creatures.

    And I need to read The Hitchhiker's Guide &tc. again.

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