Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Unfamiliar Terrain of Composition

I am writing a new book. It started fast and furious, page after page of text appearing on the computer as my fingers flew over the keys, desperate to get down those initial thoughts as quickly as possible.

I have written forty thousand words. And suddenly the terrain has become more treacherous. For me, every new book is an unknown mountain. I feel compelled to climb it, and I know that I can get to the other side, but I have no idea what I will encounter on the way there, nor am I entirely clear about all the details of the denouement.

This is both exciting and frustrating; it's almost like having to build the mountain as I hike on it. Writing, for me, has some of the same features of reading. I enjoy it and find it entertaining; I get caught up in my own story. But there are places where that story is not whole in my mind, and that's when I have to supply these little bridges that will advance the journey, that will get me to the little town of First Draft, safe and sound. :)

Meanwhile, back at the ranch . . .


Anonymous said...

Wow. At 40,000 words I think, thank goodness. Almost done!

Julia Buckley said...

Well, Eric, I usually do, too, and my books all tend to be rather slim, which is why with this one I was going to try to aim for
70,000--and that means there's still quite a path ahead (or else it will end up being 60,000 like all the others. :)