clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Not a Production Plan

At left, a munition factory in wartime Britain.

Photo from the Imperial War Museum. Thanks!

Writers like the illusion of schemes and plans.

Tuesday I'll do this and Wednesday I'll do that.

Sometimes it works. Not so often as you'd notice.

The creative process is a messy affair. If it were a linear activity of so many hours with so many motions, then everyone would be a novelist.

It looks like organization - but it isn't. There are new ideas and new perspectives and a whole pile of "sick of it like this" in the process.

If you read from the blogs of writers who seem to have it all together, let me tell you that there are occasional three AM scamperings to the desk to make notes about this and that and the other that they're throwing right out. There are also the sleepless nights about scenes that doesn't work, premises that are too contrived, and dialogue that is as stilted as it comes.

I love to imagine putting the table outside in the front yard, having a nice glass of tea, and writing for five hours a day as a living.


My creative muse has her hair on fire most of the time and as a result, my work habits are hardly reflective of anything but enforced management rules.

In the chair X hours a day with pen in hand.

Sometimes that produces real progress.

Sometimes it doesn't.

This isn't a regular production gig. There are times that the scene between husband and wife doesn't work despite the three days you've spent at it and so something has to give. No one runs a factory like that.

Then again, you're not a factory worker in a wartime munitions plant for whom everything is piece-work.

That is, unless you expect the novel to be a bomb.

There's the steamworks whistle. Have to go. So do you.

Where, I have no idea. Bring a notebook and pen just in case. I will.

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