Wednesday, July 6, 2022

What Comes Next?

     I killed somebody today. In fact, I killed two somebodies, and I think I'll kill a couple more before this book is done. 

    No, they aren't real people. They're characters. I'm about halfway through this book, and I am about to get massively interrupted for about ten days, which will wreak havoc on my progress as I will have to spend a couple of days reading from the beginning so I remember what's going on. This is a book, remember, not a short story. I hope these interruptions won't lead to more and drag this out over several more months. I would like to get outside.

    My planned early August trip is off for now--I can't have another lengthy interruption--and I don't know what will happen to my planned fall trip. I have to get this done. Then I can have a little break, will need a break, before a re-read and rewrite, and more things that will lead to publication. 

    I thought Steam Bath Summer would be the best time to write, since I don't want to go out any more than I need to, but now....

    People really don't understand what writing a book takes. I will spend three to four hours a day trying to figure out what's going on (and can do nothing else but think) and another three to four hours a day writing it. I have no days off. Any interruption means a significant delay and I have to go back and reread. There is a real sense of urgency, of necessity to go forward and fall into the book's world to suss out the story. 

    All to figure out the elusive What Comes Next?  That's Stephen King's phrase. He's incredibly prolific because he is incredibly disciplined. He doesn't monkey around. He goes to his office and asks this question. It's what you have to ask when you get stuck, when you run into a wall, when you don't know where to go. You have to figure out What Comes Next?  Only when you know that can you write it down. 

    And that's where I am at. I have a strong idea of some of the things that need to happen, a vague idea of others, but I don't know it all. The characters will need to tell me, and that means I have to be quiet and listen to them in their time and place. 

    What has come next in my little garden, though, is the last of the lilies. There are eight blooms on the stems in this post. I hope that what comes next is not a typhoon!

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