9/20/06: De-slugging

Word count: 547 | Since last entry: 547

I have been a slug. A slug most foul and slimy. I haven’t been to the gym, and I haven’t been writing. Well, I did write over 1500 words of notes on the new story (“Firewall”) on Monday and Tuesday, but yesterday I sat and read fanzines during the hour I should have been writing. A slug, I say.

Today didn’t start well. I had an 8am meeting followed by an all-day planning session, so I awoke in the dark and didn’t expect to get much done all day. But the 8am meeting lasted only half an hour, giving me time to type up some notes from yesterday’s UI review. Then the planning session finished unexpectedly quickly, right after lunch, so I got in some actual productivity and even managed to go to the gym for the first time this week (go me!). Homeward-bound traffic was insane, but I took advantage of the situation to make some phone calls. (Usually I would never make a phone call from a moving car, but… well, I wasn’t moving.) I set up an appointment to talk with a reporter from my neighborhood paper (the Southeast Examiner) about the Hugo.

Got home and warmed up the ratatouille we’d made yesterday from the magic vegetable basket — it’s always better the next day, so we made it ahead — and then sat down to write. Again, go me.

I know who the main character is. I know his backstory and his current situation. I have an internal problem for him that parallels his external problem (and when Kate gave me that idea I felt the story expand from 5000 to 7500 words — weird, never had that happen before). I have a general idea of the shape of the plot, and I know what happens at the climax. I’m not 100% sure how to convey what happens after that point, but I’m pretty sure I know what decision he’ll make. I even have some secondary characters. What I don’t have is an outline. For me, this is working without a net.

I also am trying to write fast (after much good advice on this from Jay Lake at the Worldcon). So far, it’s not working. 500 words in 76 minutes isn’t fast — I keep backing up and tweaking with the current sentence until it’s perfect, which is my usual habit. I will try again tomorrow to break that habit.

Oh, almost forgot: I have an entry in the current Brain Parade over at memetherapy.net.

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