Some thoughts on <i>Stemwinder</i> and <i>Mainspring</i>
Well, got 3,100 words in on Stemwinder earlier today. I’ve since finalized the Mainspring copy edit and packed it up for shipment in the morning. I feel very accomplished at the moment, even though the new book is not yet half done, at 79,100 words. (Ahem…)
The process is so different. I’ve fallen into a rhythm of writing that is new for me. It’s a breathing thing, letting the novel breathe in the same sense that a bottle of wine breathes.
I realized today that this was about writing at a pace which isn’t derived from my short story writing, with its forced economies and tight arcs, but rather letting the story unfold in scenes and moments and character interaction. It feels horridly loose to me right now, but I know perfectly well not to let the editor into the room while i’m writing. If it is loose, I’ll deal with it on rewrite.
However, I rather think I’m really dealing with simply a different pace and style of work. This shouldn’t surprise me — every novel I’ve written has progressed differently. I rather suppose every novel I ever do write will do so. I’ve been pretty consistently hitting 2,500-3,000 words per day, without getting either bogged down or manic. I will get manic as I get deeper into the book, that’s my Way, but that’s ok too. It helps me write to the crescendo of plot and character arc if I’m crescendoing externally, I think.
Still, I marvel at what happens and how it all works. It’s like living inside the world’s greatest machine.
Someone asked me recently, in conversation, what would I do if I could have any job in the world. I said, the one I have right now. I’d be a writer. They were quite surprised, and told me no one had ever said they’d keep the job they had. Some days it does feel like breaking my own fingers off, but most days it’s at least quite satisfying, with sufficient flashes of brilliance to keep me coming to the well.
Posted: 10:05 pm Wed October 18 2006 |