About that book

Life is more under control this week- no one is in the hospital, and nothing’s on fire. That means I’ve actually had a chance to start rolling along on my next book.

Starting a book is always a bit fraught. I like the planning stage, where I get to do world building and character generation and all that fun stuff. And I like being in the middle of the book- I know what I did, I know where I’m going (generally) and the whole thing mostly hums along. And the endings are usually only problematic because I get lazy. Once I know how everything is wrapping up in my head, its hard to make myself sit down and actually, y’know, write that out.

But beginnings. They’re hard, because that’s where I have to start committing. What’s this character like, how are these people interacting, how does this culture work, where the heck is this plot going? All of that has to start getting resolved. The whole thing goes from a pleasant, malleable daydream to an actual thing that has texture and resistance and pushes back against me.

Which is actually cool. A lot of my ideas happen when my concepts start smacking hard onto the page. Sometimes, though, the collisions are ugly, and I have to clean things up. A lot of time gets spent on fiddling too. I realize suddenly that a character is a little more like this than that, or the plot is going to have a lot more of that than I thought. All of that gets the story going, but it means that my first couple of weeks writing tend to involve a lot of back and forth and rewriting as I straighten things out.

Which is why beginnings are interesting. Often it’s a fun sort of interesting, but not always. Sometimes it’s a lets-lie-face-down-on-the-lap-top interesting. Oh well, usually it only lasts a few weeks, and I’m already one week in. So I should be through it soon.


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