Wednesday, 6 October 2010


I won't lie -- today was a bit of a slog. I had high hopes for a gangbusting kind of day, a 5000-worder, but I've managed exactly 1,956. But I did manage that, and I'm still kind of shocked.

I've got some sort of writerly brain defect that consistently forgets exactly how I've managed this in the past. And by 'this', I mean any writing, at all. Somehow, every time I approach a project, every single time, I get the notion that I should know what I'm doing. I believe very firmly that I can't put a single word down until I know my characters, my plot, where I'm going with this thing. But the truth is, that has never, ever happened. Every story I've ever written, long or short, has started with little more than a single image, or a line of dialogue. And somehow, magically, every time, once I've written that one thing, another thing comes after that. It's not something I would have come up with in a million years of planning, and I probably would have come up with something completely different if I'd waited a day to write it. But the person who I was at that particular time did come up with it. And the same thing happens all over again with the next sentence, the next scene.

So today was about wrestling with my faith. Because that's what it is -- absolute faith in the person I will be when I sit down at the keyboard. Faith in the process, and in my typing fingers. I've been surprised several times today at the way this kind of faith paid off. My character would feel something powerful that I hadn't known about thirty seconds ahead of time, or do something that came entirely out of the blue, but was absolutely true. And I made it through nearly 2000 words that way, one surprise after another.

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