In Which the Writer has Wine

I’ve been trying to write a post today – all day, and with extremely limited success (try none), as is evidenced  by it being, well, tomorrow.

I woke up this morning with a mind like the tuffet-like pad left behind when all the dandelion fluff is blown away. Empty, vacant, bereft of my velvety cloud of purpose.

I finished the novel, and it emptied me. For now.

I’m thinking of this like a life bar in a video game. I have gone and fought a boss fight, and I just need to find the magical fruit or a life pack or to wait around and it’ll fill up again, preparing me to fight another day. Luckily, when the hero levels up on video games, they get larger life bars. Of course, so do the bosses left to fight…

But let’s not dwell on these things.

I have a full three days to let my brain become active again. Three days of rest and laundry and wanton television binges and cleaning the house (ok, let’s not get carried away), and writing more for the blog. Three days to reset the stage for the next adventure.

It’s very tempting to try and plan what comes next. I’ve heard of a mystical beast called an “outline” that can be found in the jungles of more organized writers’ computers. Maybe one day I’ll try it, but it gives me little hope since I have absolutely no control over the characters or the plot once I give in to what I’m writing. Outlines aside, I think maybe I ought to plan what genre to write in next, or what era to set it in. It’s probably a good thing my mind is so empty, or else I’d waste time on such things; I never know what I’m doing until I’m in the middle of writing it.

It’s also tempting to turn around and try to edit the last novel already.

Yeah, right. Great idea. Not.

What’s happening is that I’m not accustomed to this sudden space – I want to fill it with whatever comes next. Every day since the new year began, even the ones when I took the day away from writing, have been consumed with the novel, with the next scene or the needed word count. Each day I’d know there was work to be done, and most days I managed to do it. Today was Saturday, the first one since this project started that hasn’t been spent churning out over 5,000 words while consuming caffeine in quantities fit for elephants.

I want to keep going, but I don’t have it in me. For now. One boss fight at a time.

It’s been so strange. To think, only one month ago I didn’t think anything of letting a Saturday drift by, now I feel propelled forward even when I’m fatigued beyond the point of intelligible speech.

I want to keep going.

I also want to sleep. For maybe a year (I have tomorrow anyway), or at least until I can find a health potion conveniently dropped back along the trail where I killed a zombie-alien thing with a crowbar.

They drop health potions sometimes, right?

Until I find that, I’ll settle for wine.

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7 thoughts on “In Which the Writer has Wine

  1. “I’ve heard of a mystical beast called an “outline” that can be found in the jungles of more organized writers’ computers.” This made me chuckle. Yes I think I saw one of those before, but it disappeared so quickly, that I can’t be sure it was real…elusive creatures…

    1. Hehe I think you need a net drawn on perfect resume paper with ink made from the liquefied fur of 2,000 cheshire cats. Or maybe that was how to find an agent… I get those mixed up.

  2. You might try what William Faulkner did: set all of his stories in the same fictional county/place. This gave his imaginary world depth, history and realism. Maybe your next novel could be set near the setting of your last one with all new characters but the characters from the last novel referenced throughout. Kind of an internal marketing ploy to read the first one, but so each novel stands alone.

    1. I write urban fantasy, so basically that’s what I do anyway – I usually write stories in places I have visited, or many are set in my home town for ease of geography. I’ve also been working on a series called The Wishgranters’ Union, and that’s pretty similar to your idea of the references; it’s fun to cross reference plots and characters.

      Great minds think alike, I guess! Do you have any posts on outlining on your blog? I’m interested in how you manage to outline to save time. I usually change the story so much as I go that any outline must be done after the first draft.

  3. Just give yourself time to rest. For me, the best inspiration comes when I allow myself to just rest, then take up the mission again.

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