I don’t remember if I mentioned this to you before but I have finally finished writing Children of Chaos — book two of what I have taken to pretentiously calling the Chaos and Order Trilogy — and have embarked on the last book, called The Chosen One.
And it suddenly occurred to me that if my prayers are answered (well, not really because this isn’t the sort of thing I pray about) I’ll be back in school in about eight months. I know from experience that when I’m in school, I write at about the rate of one sentence each calendar quarter, so now I’m under a certain amount of self-imposed pressure to get as much of it done as I can before I move.
… because there just isn’t enough stress in my life.
Fortunately, at this (very early) stage of the game, I am not battling with a severe case of writer’s block or anything like that. Sometimes, I get a little stuck for a little while but that usually gets resolved as soon as I am able to make a decision.
I don’t know how many of you writers can relate to this but most of the time that I’m dealing with so-called “writer’s block,” that’s not what it is at all. I get stuck if I’m trying to decide whose point of view to tell this part of the story from, or whether to work this certain little element that will be important later into this scene or wait to introduce it at another time, or whether to bring in a previously used minor character to deliver that piece of information or create a new, equally minor character. Sometimes, I have to stop writing so that I can decide what a certain conversation sounds like inside my head.
So, for me, it’s not about not knowing what’s going to happen next. It’s more about deciding how the next thing is going to happen.
I believe I mentioned to you just recently that I am in a kind of limbo place because, for at least the first couple of months of the year, I was going to be waiting for stuff.
So now that the holidays are over, and the lights and decorations are gone, and the lovely meals became leftovers and even those are gone, and we are left with nothing but cold and snow and fond memories of hangovers gone by, I am waiting.
I really suck at it.
That is, I really suck at waiting for things that I want rather badly. If I’m waiting for something I am not looking forward to (like a colonoscopy) or something I don’t really care about (like the Presidents Day sales at the mall), then I don’t even notice. I’m not thinking about it. Or maybe I’m avoiding thinking about it. In that case, you might even say that I’m not really waiting at all.
But when I’m waiting for something that I am looking forward to (like Spring) or something I really want (like acceptance into graduate school) or something I really need (like my income tax refund), then I have this tendency to make myself crazy by sliding into an orgy of anticipation.
Sometimes, I over-think things.
Not an uncommon failing I would guess but it can be awkward and inconvenient. If I was going to have a failing, I suppose this would be it given that thinking is one of my favorite hobbies.
So tell me, my fellow writers out there, how often has this happened to you?
There you are, beetling along and working on your current masterpiece. You’ve just finished another scene and you know that you’re heading into a set piece. You know what needs to happen in this scene, even if you haven’t exactly worked out all the details yet. And then, all of a sudden, you have to decide whose point of view to write the scene from.