Friday, October 02, 2009

A Good Writing Session

Now and then, you get into flow -- that state of function wherein things go like sliding your fingertip through warm oil on glass -- smoothly, effortlessly, dead on-target. The sweet spot on the bat connects and puts the ball over the fence; the half-court last second basket is nothing but net; the zanshin of sword in sheath becoming sword in hand just is, with no sense of time passing.

Like the werewolf in Trader Vic's -- his hair is perfect ...

Doesn't happen that often for me in any venue. Now and in a great while in writing, it does, and I never see it coming. I sit down, and of a moment, two hours have passed, I have eight pages of a chapter, and everything came out in ways I didn't see going in. It's as is somebody else wrote the scene and I was sitting behind him watching it unfold, going, "Damn! That's good! Now what, now what?!"

I had a scene in mind. A character who has been captured by the bad guy and is naked, drugged, and about to be tortured and killed. I'd set it up so that all of this character's physical skills were neutralized. (Cleverly using a drug that lowers blood-pressure so much that any activity that requires quick motion will cause a loss of consciousness. Stand up fast, you pass out. Swing your fist hard, you pass out.)

Now, Steve, how you gonna get your protagonist out of that fix, hey? And I really didn't know, though I had set up the answer early in the book without realizing it. I started writing, and there it was. My God, how did I come up with that?

Well. You'll have to wait for Bristlecone to get finished, bought, and printed to find out what I did. And I don't know how great a scene it is, objectively. But if half of what a hoot it was to write comes through, it'll play like gangbusters and keep a reader turning the pages, and that's the goal for me.

I believe I'll go walk the dogs while the sun is shining and the rain is in abeyance. Maybe take the rest of the day off, 'cause any writing I do isn't going to get any better than what I did this morning. No way.


jks9199 said...


Stan said...

Hey! Congrats, both on having a good session AND recognizing and appreciating it!

Yeah...that is a bit of a tease, though!