Life imitates art

I’ve now worked out enough of the run-up to the denouement of Guardians of Paradise to know who’s doing what to whom, and when and where they’re doing it. I still have only the vaguest idea what will happen when all this set-up pays off and we get to the big confrontation and subsequent fall-out, but that’s good because if I knew that, I’d find myself a lot less interested in writing it. One of the main reasons I write stories is to find out how they end.

One upshot of having a fairly detailed plan for the next few chapters is that the usually quite painful extruding of the first draft does not require me to be left alone in a darkened room with the correct soundtrack for hours on end. I can do a couple of hours work here and there, where ‘there’ isn’t necessarily my garret. This more laid-back approach fits in well with the current round of Festive Stuff.

Yesterday, for example, we went to see friends in south London. They left me alone with their tropical fish and took Beloved out shopping. I got 1,700 words done in two and a half hours, which is a cracking pace, and this despite the random real-world interruption of a man dropping off some fish of the non-tropical, dead-and-smoked variety. Fictionally I wrote two longish scenes, not including any fish, but featuring a character who gets a rude awakening that leaves him annoyed, dazed and confused.

When Beloved and friends returned, we went out for a most excellent Indian meal. A DVD to digest to, and then to bed. In our case, this was an airbed in the spare room. At around five in the morning I awoke with a distinct sinking feeling. I tried to stay asleep but then made the mistake of rolling over, and unexpectedly met Beloved, and the floor. The airbed had deflated.

To say that I am not at my best at that time of morning would be an understatement. Beloved, however, can function, and, there being no other soft-furnishings we could convert to a bed, he decanted me and our belongings into the car and drove the hour and a half back to our place, where I fell asleep again. I woke up three hours later with an impressive headache and upset stomach, both of which I still have.

This is somewhat annoying, as I was due to go back up to London this afternoon for the OSB Christmas meal. My current plans for the day involve a small amount of work and a lot of lazing around feeling sorry for myself. I think I may rewrite yesterday’s ‘rude awakening’ scene on the grounds that I now have some recent experience to apply to it.

However, had we not driven home at half-five in the morning we’d have missed the memorable sight of a rather pissed-off young man stumping determinedly alongside the A232 wearing nothing but Doc Martin boots and a large bath-towel. Beloved suspects he was a casualty from a Stag Night.

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