Three thousand words in three days. A good start to my new story, if I may say so myself. At this rate I could write a thirty thousand word story in a month.
That would be true if the three thousand words I wrote was spread across three chapters. This was all in one chapter, however, and there are fifteen to go. Which means I’m really looking at a forty-eight thousand word novel.
If I still to a rate of three thousand words per chapter. We all know how good I am at that, right?
In my other life I program computers, or at the least design things for computers that are later used by humans to do their jobs more efficiently. Most of the time it’s a lot of tedium; you have to analyze things very carefully, least you kluge together some System From Hell that you, the developer, has to go fix.
I don’t like fixing things that are kluged together; it drives me crazy. I don’t like making things that are kluged together, because it means I was probably drunk when I put the system together. Or, at the least, wished I’d been.
There is a problem with my programming work: there’s a serious lack of creativity involved. Oh, you might think otherwise, but after twenty-five to thirty years of doing the same shit over and over, I can say with some confidence that imagination is a very small component when it comes to designing systems for computers.
Writing is where I unleash my imagination, or at least let it run until it’s decided it needs a nap. It’s where my creativity takes root these days, and without this outlet I’d probably sink into another morass of depression much like I suffered through for most of 2012. Which is a frightening thing, because I wrote a hell of a lot of words, and created more than a few stories, and I found myself depressed enough that I once freaked out at work and stormed out with my brain on fire—not literally, but it felt like I was gonna go Scanners at any moment.
Even when I’m away from the analytical part of my being, it’s still there. I can lay out a story in Scrivener and know that I’m within a chapter or two of what I’ll need to tell the story. I can look at he layout and “guess” what it’s going to run word-wise, because my mind sees a card description and know this one will be about two thousand words, and that one will likely run about four, and that one may just hit seven thousand . . .
It’s not a gift or a curse: it’s just the way I am.
So it’s sort of refreshing that I’m looking at my new story and I’m thinking, “Well, I may have a novel on my hands, but then . . .” That’s because I’m only seeing the story in very broad strokes at the moment, and most of the story isn’t really coming together in a way that my others have. It’s nebulous, the filaments floating around me, waiting for the moment when I reach out and pull them towards me so they can be twisted into a creation of my imagination.
I guess this is what happens when you decide to write about a muse:
She gets very picky about how you tell her tale.