I used to tell myself that I simply didn’t have enough time to write.
It’s not a bad excuse. My job takes up 50+ hours a week, often with 10+ hours of travelling on top. Plus I’d like to spend time with my wife. And even I have to sleep sometime.
But it is still an excuse.
It seems that what I need is focus as well as time. I need to be keeping the story in my head when I’m not writing, a bit like those exercises they give to highschool kids in the US, where they have to carry a baby substitute around all day so that they’ll understand what a burden a child would be. Personally I think they’d be better of giving sex education advice and offering contraceptives to those that want them, but I digress. The point is that I need to keep the story alive long enough for me to get it on the page and that takes focus.
I also used to think that I didn’t write because I didn’t have a nice calm office to write in. Well, now I have a nice calm office and frankly, it doesn’t help. It becomes somewhere comfortable to play solitaire in
Today I was reminded that I write better when I have a deadline and when I’m travelling in a train or plane. Perversely, the noise and the cramped space seem to make it easier for me to escape into my head where my story lives.
I’m in Paris tonight. I travelled up from Switzerland by TGV high-speed train. That gave me about four hours to sit and write.
The outcome is the first chapter of my NaNoWriMo novel attempt “Blood,Flesh and Fear”
I wrote about 1,450 words. This is still below the target by a couple of hundred words but I’m happy with it.
The first chapter is not what I expected. I’d meant to have a fairly simple chapter to introduce Adam, a man with the power to seduce women. It turned out that I needed to put a whole lot more backstory hints in than I’d thought and the evil villain made a prominent appearance and the whole thing became a lot grittier and grungier than I’d had in mind.
Consequently, what I’d thought would be a short prologue, turned into the first chapter and what i thought was going to be the first chapter now seems still to be two chapters away.
You can find Chapter One here.
I warn you, it’s a little unpleasant.
Still, I’d love to know what you think of it.