Scott D. Parker
Since we met last Saturday, I have continued plugging away with my current book. And I've learned a couple of valuable, personal lessons that I'm going to pass on.
Writing in the Morning
I don't know about your day job, but mine, as a technical writer, consumes a good deal of my brain on a daily basis. The excellent SF writer, Ted Chiang, is/was a tech writer and he said once that being a tech writer is not a conducive way to get the imagination flowing. I'll concur. Thus, my morning writing--before I started my day job--was fantastic. It was out of the way and over by 8am.
Cut to the day this past week where I decided I'd write at night. Ugh. After a day spent doing technical stuff, my head was fuzzy and cluttered. Could not focus. My own problem? Yeah. Could have I have persevered? Yeah. I wrote a paltry amount of words, counted the day good, and went to bed. Next morning, "bright" and early, I'm up and writing. Lesson learned.
Fingers on the Keys
I'm an outliner. Or, rather, I'm the guy who prefers to write in scenes, on index cards, and then write per scene. It's an excellent way of experiencing the story. On the one hand, I get to sit down with a pile of index cards and a pen and just go through the tale. I write down the scenes as they appear. By the end of the exercise, I have either the entire story laid out, or, at least, a good chunk by which I can start writing.
On this book, so far, I have a skeletal outline. I know the murky outlines of the story, but not the details. Thus, more than once, I've found myself with the moment of "What's next?" Thus, I sit at the keyboard and ponder. Wrong move (for me). I start pondering threads and, most annoyingly, how I could "better" write the scenes I've already written.
My cure for this? Keep my fingers on the keyboard. They will want to start typing and they should. I remove my fingers from the keys, I slow down. (No way! Really?!)
So, for me, I work best with an outline and my fingers on the keyboard. Are there neat little tricks y'all do?
Book of the Week: Carte Blanche by Jeffrey Deaver. I've waited a long time for this book and, so far (chapter 11 at this writing), I'm enjoying the heck out of it. Deaver seamlessly blends things from the Fleming novels (the lock of dark hair that falls onto Bond's forehead is still described as a "comma of hair") as well as from the films (Bill Tanner, played by Michael Kitchen, in the Brosnan films, is here). And the story, so far, reads very much like Fleming in that Bond isn't always out kicking ass, but he's in the office doing research. Well done