Monday, June 30, 2008

Fuel (In)efficiency

(Cross-posted from a post I made in my blog over the weekend)

So this is how it works sometimes....

I have spent the last two nights working and reworking a conversation in Hawthorn Queen. All told, I have probably put down a couple thousand words easy, keeping maybe half of them. But none of them are the right words -- at least, not right now. They are good words, and there are some wonderful exchanges, but they...just...aren't...right.

That makes it harder. If it was all utter crap, I'd be able to delete it and take a different tack. But because they are good words, I keep trying to find ways to make what I have work with what I want. Hence, the couple thousand words lying on the page, but not really going anywhere in terms of story.

And then, as I am calling it a night and closing the windows, I have three lines of dialog come to me. Three lines. Less than twenty-five words in all. And they map out the entire conversation to its completion. And I run in here and slap them down in the middle of the draft so I can come back to them tomorrow when I am conscious and delete all the other words I have slaved over for the last two days and get on with it.

If I hadn't spent those two days picking up and putting down words, looking for the right combination, would I have found the ones I needed? Probably not. I'm a great believer in process, and sometimes process involves a lot of walking in metaphorical circles. So, yeah, it was worth it; but the thing is, you never know that when you are in the middle of it. Sometimes, you just end up with a jumble of words; sometimes, it is just a waste of time. Sometimes, my friend, you are simply wearing a hole in the metaphorical carpet. But you have no way of knowing which is which. And that's what makes it such a pain some days.

In case any of you were wondering how it works sometimes.

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