Tuesday 7th March 2017
Today has been a series of cancelled appointments. I suspect it’s the universe telling me to get on with writing the big chase scene.
Actually, I don’t really mean that. It’s just been a series of unpreventable events that has meant that a number of social plans have fallen through. As disappointed as I am, it’s nobody’s fault and so I don’t let these things get to me.
The big accomplishment today was that I wrote the big “car chase” scene. Anyone who has been following along knows I’ve been working on this for the last 3 weeks, starting from the idea phase of trying to think what would be cool through to plotting out the chapter.
As first drafts go, I’m very, very pleased with it. This has the epic action feel to it that’s up there with some of the set action pieces from book 1. Writing it I was thinking to myself just how nuts it is. Even as a movie you’d be sitting there going “Whoa!”
I love how big a piece it is, not in terms of wordcount but in feeling epic. I think any one of the ideas used within the scene would have made it pretty special, but all together it feels like something else. I’m really proud of how it turned out
Of course, it’ll need some revision but it feels very solid as a chapter (probably because I’ve been working on it for the past few weeks)
I wrote it in two sessions, the first 1600 words in an hour, the second a further 1000 in just over 30 minutes. It’s not the biggest of chapters, mainly because if you are writing action, you tend to be more compact. I also tend to under-write so it’s possible that when it comes to revision I’ll be adding in more description, adding pieces in place to set up things later in the chapter. For example, I killed a minor character off in this scene and I already feel I need to foreshadow this as well as set this person more central into the action.
But I think it makes for a superb chapter and I can already see this being one of the pieces I recite at readings.
With my social plans cancelled I got some food prep done this evening (including the new Turkey Meatballs I now have as part of my revised diet) and then sat down with dinner and watched some interesting videos on the business of creativity. One of the interesting things was seeing a couple of people discuss how they thought a certain moment would be their tipping point, when they felt, in the eyes of those around them, that they had ‘made it big time’ / gone mainstream. Yet when it came, it wasn’t the tipping point they thought it would be.
I find that interesting because I’m definitely feeling like everything is gearing itself towards a tipping point. For me, I guess that is getting a decent deal for a book, potentially being able to afford to be able to write full-time. The best way I can describe what I’m feeling right now is as if everything in life is carrying you towards your goals. For example, things like my social plans which are not contributing to that plan fall apart naturally, and yet things that do, such as getting the chase scene done in a single evening, do. Whereas usually success can often feel like you are trying to swim against the current, at the moment it instead feels like all I need to do is let the current take me.
It’s not without its dangers though. There are times when that current feels like a raging river. Sometimes the real challenge isn’t swimming with the current, it’s trying not to drown. It’s trying to ensure that this forward momentum doesn’t go to your head, that nothing is a given. At the same time, it’s about not fighting it either by letting self-doubt and imposter syndrome drown you.
It’s a balancing act, and not one I always get right. I spent last year feeling I was drowning. This year, it’s about keeping level-headed whilst maintaining the forward momentum.
I’m trying to think what the tipping point would be in the analogy I’ve given. Perhaps swimming out into the ocean? Maybe a waterfall? I’m not sure. I just can feel that forward momentum speeding up and carrying me forward to this tipping point.
So it was interesting watching this video and hearing the people in it say that their tipping point wasn’t that big moment that they expected. I guess if I get a decent deal, I still have the hard work of working with editors to make the book as good as I can. I guess even if the book comes out, there’s the push to make it sell well. Even if it does well, there will always be doubts and worries.
I know some will read this and will see the ego that’s driving me to write until the small hours. I hope people will see humility as well. I hope I look back at this in years to come and think I did a good job of keeping the two balanced.
I went to the gym this evening and saw my squats go up to 115kg. I felt strong today and ended up sweating about four times more than normal. I’ve never been a great sweater (for medical reasons) so to feel like I was leaking was unusual. I don’t think I pushed my workout any harder than normal. Although I did shoulder presses properly tonight – OMG they killed my shoulders.
So today I’ve been swimming with the current. I can’t afford to be complacent though as there’s still so much work to do. After all I am behind on the draft for this novel, even though I’m 80,000 words in. Now I can start thinking about the swordfight coming up in 10 chapters and get that choreographed before I come to write it.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels. Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.
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