Studio Musings

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Yesterday I Left the Room

I'd been writing steadily all week, exceeding my daily goals. I'd created characters and a world I could care about, and then written the scene where I "played Godzilla" and destroyed much of what I'd spent the past week creating. For two days I avoided writing the cataclysmic event which would rock my main character's world and set her on an entirely new course, finding other scenes to work on. But I finally sat down and wrote it. It was easier than I anticipated, and I bounced around the room for a half hour afterwards, too energized to sit still. In this first draft, I'm not expecting perfection, simply 'good enough'. And it was.

That completed, I moved on to the next series of scenes - the immediate aftermath where she realizes just how much she's lost. That took two days, and was emotionally more difficult for me than the actual catastrophe, but still doable.

Yesterday, I needed to actively get her on the road, still torn and grieving, but moving again. Neither of us made it. I managed less than 300 words - most of that research notes for other sections of the book - and she stayed right where she was.

Throughout the day I found my thoughts returning to a scene attributed to the writer Ron Carlson. A college student once asked him how do you know if you're a writer. He responded with an amusing riff about all the distractions writers put in their way: "leaving the room to get coffee, check the mail, get coffee, walk the dogs, go to the bathroom, get coffee, look something up, get coffee" then he summed it up with the phrase that has been running through my mind since yesterday, "The writer is the one who stays in the room".

The good news is, today, I have. And as of 1:27 this afternoon, my official word count stands at 25,065. Both my main character and my story are back on the move. And I'm aiming towards another 1,000 words before bedtime this evening. If I can stay in the room long enough...

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