Goodbye and good riddance 2014, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
Hello 2015, I have a good feeling about you!
I didn’t finish the rock star contemporary by the end of the year as I’d hoped. I was doing really well til I ran into the abdominal surgery in July. I’m not making excuses; I’m sure Nora Roberts would’ve pounded out 12K words a day while in the hospital, even with an NG tube up her nose. And I’m sure she’d keep pounding the wordcount after she got out, even while having extremely painful stomach spasms lasting days due to an excess of scar tissue.
I really wish I were more like Nora.
But. The rock star WIP is preceding and Nick and TJ’s plot is almost halfway done – which is all I need to start writing.
Have I ever explained the difference between plotters and pantsers? Pantsers just sit down and write – they don’t know what’s going to happen until they write it.
This horrifies me and freaks me out. It’s like driving your car through fields and forests instead of on an actual road. I have to drive on a road, and I have to have a general idea of where I’m going. I need a plan, a map. The map doesn’t have to go all the way to my final destination, and I can change my route a little as I go, but I have to have a general idea of what’s going to happen in the book before I can start driving.
One last writing metaphor: even if you’re only driving a couple miles a day, you’ll still eventually get where you’re going.
One of the ways I’m forcing myself to write steadily is by rewarding myself with some books I’m reading and loving. I always read more than one book at a time. Right now I’m reading Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow and the second book in Barbara Hambly’s James Asher series.
Gravity’s Rainbow is set in London at the end of WWII and features, among many other characters, a guy who gets a hard on right before a V-2 rocket hits, and whose many sexual trysts seem to predict where the rockets will land. This in no way begins to describe the plot; it’s such a dense and weird book that guides to it have been written. I’m trying not to use one – I’m an English major, I should be able to handle this.
Barbara Hambly is SUCH a good writer. Lush, lyrical narrative, interesting characters, and when she’s writing historicals, just enough period details (technology, grooming, cultural practices) to make it engrossing but not so much that it detracts from the story. Her James Asher series is set in Edwardian England. Asher is a retired English spy and a professor at Oxford; his wife Lydia is a doctor. After discovering that vampires exist, James and Lydia get sucked into their intrigues. The Asher books are normal novels, with a beginning, a middle and an end. This makes them a nice change of pace from a Thomas Pynchon novel.
Incidentally, another of Pynchon’s novels, Inherent Vice, is now a movie starring Joaquin Phoenix. I loved the book and I expect to love the movie.
There’s another author I love that you might too – Tom Holt writes some of the funniest books I’ve ever read. My favorite one is Barking, about a sad sack London attorney who is unwittingly, and unwillingly, turned into a werewolf. He’s written dozens of books and I’ve never found one that didn’t make me laugh out loud like an idiot.
Anyway. I can’t let myself read as much as I’d like or I’d never write. So I reward myself with a couple of chapters every time I’ve written three or four pages.
If you hang out on Twitter, I invite you to follow me – tell me you’re a reader, and I’ll follow back. (I don’t auto follow.) Same with Facebook – I love talking to readers. I’m very active on Twitter (I totally understand if you decide not to follow me, because I do tend to talk a lot.)
Here’s to all of us having a safe, prosperous, stable, happy 2015.