Piles of planks and other good stuff

wp-1486465910453.jpgI have been writing. And I mean actually making progress with my novel. It’s weird. My novel now has an ending. A concrete point to which I’m writing to. It always had an ending, but it was a bit vague and I wasn’t quite sure anyway if that was where it would end. But now I am. And I’ve written a version of that ending and now I’m filling out the bits in between. Which means all the important writing that actually makes it a novel and makes that the ending.

I was really lost last spring. I wrote a lot, but I just kept adding things to my story to make it complete. It took some backtracking to realise I already had all the elements this story needs to run its natural course. That’s being proved by all these piles of planks I keep finding around.

I have coined a term for myself. A ‘pile of planks’ is the stuff you write and a long time later realise that stuff was there for a reason, even though it seemed to be a heap of rubbish that was just lying there for extra stuffing. Because that’s what I did. I wrote a pile of planks into the corner of the yard of the house in which my protagonist lives. And now, years later, I found out why that pile of planks was there. And somehow I’ve come across a lot of these piles of planks lately.

I’ll let a cleverer writer than me do the telling:

The best thing about writing fiction is that moment where the story catches fire and comes to life on the page, and suddenly it all makes sense and you know what it’s about and why you’re doing it and what these people are saying and doing, and you get to feel like both the creator and the audience. Everything is suddenly both obvious and surprising (“but of course that’s why he was doing that, and that means that…”) and it’s magic and wonderful and strange.

You don’t live there always when you write. Mostly it’s a long hard walk. Sometimes it’s a trudge through fog and you’re scared you’ve lost your way and can’t remember why you set out in the first place.

But sometimes you fly, and that pays for everything.

Neil Gaiman

Yeah, I know, I know, I’ve quoted this before. But I’ve had those words on my wall ever since I first read them on his blog. And they have kept me going all these years.

Now, I’m really cold, because it’s below -15C out and about +16C inside my flat. That’s what the photo is about. The scale of my mug of chai masala tea. Well, actually, I take a brewing bag (never thought I’d find a use for those) and put in half a teaspoon of cardamom and half a teaspoon of ginger, I rip open a Tetley teabag and pour that in and then add a… a lot of brown sugar. I steep it for a while and then add lots of milk.

Tearecipes and writing…

Back to the latter.


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