There May be progress.

I think that inertia is a force in all of our lives, and for writers – or at least for this writer – it can be especially impactful.

It can take forever to build up speed, getting some project or task started. Once it’s going, it takes much less energy to keep going. Sometimes it can be hard to slow down.

In the past, I’ve had trouble slowing down. (Still do.) That inertia that helps me belt out words one month carrying me into exhaustion the next. And, of course, exhaustion comes with its own momentum, and then I have to slowly get back up to speed.

I have been having some trouble with that, but, I’ve also found what looks like it might be a solution, and an interesting new technique to throw in my toolbox – and maybe a concept that could be useful to others.

Quicker than Blood is… not a very quick novel, right now. The outline’s been dragging, but, it’s done – or at least a complete version of it’s done. All that iteration I talked about last month. Trouble is, I’m not 100% sure I’m happy with it, and that’s partly the inertia problem.

I have been working on this book as an outline for so long it’s a little hard to move on to the next stage with it – and there’s always the nagging voice in the back of my head, telling me to start revising it before it’s even a thing…

My strategy to deal with this? Take my outline – take my plan – and start testing the waters without fully committing.

Like someone gingerly pressing one toe down on the ice to test it, before risking putting their weight down, I am testing out my outline – the whole outline – by writing sections of it. A section out of every chapter/major beat, a few hundred words each.

If it works really well, well, I can just paste that directly into the manuscript and I’ll start the draft with like 5-10% of the book already written. If it doesn’t – if I spot a chapter where things don’t work now that I’m actually writing it, or a section that feels off, well. I’m still technically at the outline, I can tweak things without having to toss out all that much work.

Chipping away at the novel like this, making tiny little handholds to help me get into the thing as a whole, is both a smaller commitment than leaping whole-bodied into it – making it feel safer – and a way to engage with not just one or two parts of what I’m trying to do, but the whole thing.

I guess the equivalent in art would be drawing a sketch and rendering a few details here and there, or checking out the biggest landmarks first when exploring a new place before getting into the details of the area.

Still in the middle of that – with high hopes it works.

In the meanwhile, I am still working on taking good care of myself and getting the rest I need to make the work possible, and I hope you’re all taking good care of yourselves.

As ever, your support makes a huge difference to me, and I am very, very thankful – whether that’s as a patreon patron, as a fan of my writing, an interested reader, or just a curious passer-by. It all helps.

Looking forward (and hoping) to report more progress soon.

Categorized as Patreon

By foozzzball

Malcolm Cross, otherwise known as 'foozzzball', lives in London and enjoys the personal space and privacy that the city is known for. When not misdirecting tourists to nonexistant landmarks and lurking at bus stops, Malcolm enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy with a furry twist.