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The Writing Life - piper_of_dawn [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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The Writing Life [Dec. 18th, 2012|08:47 pm]
Write. Edit. Delete. Write. Write more. Delete. Write. Edit. My protagonist is bloody wooden. Need to humanise him. What to do? Oh, of course. We'll write him an intimate scene. What's that, precious? We've never written an intimate scene before? Well, now would be a good time to start, wouldn't it, yes precious? Write. Edit. Gods, this is pure saccharine. Delete. Let's switch over to the action sequences. They're far easier to do. There's a fire in the library, the protagonist is trapped on the top floor, and now we need to find a way to extricate him, since when we were describing the layout of the library first, we hadn't planned for this scene. Argh. Go back. Edit. Delete. Write. It's 3 PM! Six hours! After sincerely promising to not go a minute above three hours. I have to write an MPhil thesis!

Yes, I am in the throes of the writing life, with all its rare highs and seemingly endless lows. Ninety percent of the time, I am dogged by the conviction that this is the most profoundly wasteful enterprise since Napoleon attacked Russia; that I am a terrible writer, my dialogue stilted, my plotting predictable, my concepts outworn, my characters a crime against humanity; that like many blind leaps of faith, this will only end up in bitterness, of looking back and thinking of glorious days wasted, of passions ill-spent, of hopes and dreams that were destined to be broken even as they were hoped and dreamt; that this 150,000-word document has begun and will end its life never stirring from the "My Writing" folder on my laptop.

But for the other ten percent... when everything comes together, when it clicks, when I write caught up by the logic of my own story, when it seems that this is a brilliantly innovative premise I'm working with, when I'm convinced that I am Bradbury, Huxley and Orwell rolled into one (that should tell you I'm working on a futuristic, soft sci-fi dystopia :P), when my words and thoughts take me to a faraway beautiful land, a world away from the shark-infested sea that is 21st century literary publishing.

For that ten percent makes it all worthwhile.

I think.