Like a lot of writers, I’ve been know to whinge sometimes. I complain about how inspiration eludes me, how my characters won’t cooperate, how deadlines scare me, how reviewers hate me (OK, not that one, because unlike some people* I am a professional).
However, these complaints are just venting: when it comes down it, I love telling my tales. This week I had one of those moments when I rediscovered just how amazing the experience can be. Having previously written a relatively ‘easy’ bit of Queen of Nowhere, the next section existed only as a rough outline: I knew where my hero was going, and what the net result of her little jaunt would be. I knew almost nothing about the world she is about to visit, or who she’ll meet there, or how she’ll manage to get what she came for. And until I had at least some idea, there was no point putting down any words.
I do my best thinking when half asleep. I suspect this is because lying in bed semi-conscious is the only time I’m not distracted by mundane concerns such as managing a household, doing my day-job or planning the fun bits of my life. On Tuesday morning I woke early and did nothing for the best part of an hour. Or rather, I lay still with my eyes closed while the next bit of story played out in my head. With pictures. When the alarm went off I sat up and frantically scribbled down four sides of handwritten notes.
Precisely how many chapters those notes will expand into I can’t yet say, because there are plenty of gaps, and some questions still remain for me to answer. But the mysterious arrival of a new world and the segments of plot occurring on it straight into my head from the ether means I know where I’m going next. And that is really all any writer can ask.
*I was going to put a link in to an author who recently engaged in some unhelpful and very public dialog with her critics, culminating in her telling them to ‘F*ck Off’ (though without the asterisk). I’ve lost the link but you get the gist; this isn’t acceptable behaviour.