Thursday, May 20, 2010

A hump in the road

Everything is slowing down.  I haven't posted all week, but worse, the novel is stuttering to a crawl.  700, 900, 500 words in a day: it's a far cry from the good progress of a couple of weeks ago.  I think the slowing down is for two reasons. Firstly, I've reached a crossroads where several things could happen and I can't decide what to do, and the reason I can't decide what to do is because of the second reason, which is that the story in its current form feels waaaayyy too linear for my liking, and this is frustrating because this is always going to happen given the way that I write - chronologically.  The mixing around of time lines and viewpoints etcetera comes in the second draft and is (as far as I'm concerned) an editing job rather than an imaginative one but right now it's interfering and REALLY PISSING ME OFF.

Part of why I'm slowing down is that there's an irresistible urge to meddle creeping up on me - to chuck more spanners into my hero's path.  This may or may not be a good thing, but I'm reluctant to do it if I know part of the reason for me wanting to do so is that I'm - well, essentially getting bored of telling this story in its current form.  It has to be right for the story - I think it is, but I need to clear my head on this - on my reasons for doing what I'm doing.  Authoring is supposed to be an act of giving, after all - not one of getting sidetracked solely for my own entertainment.

So off to the Catlins I shall trip this weekend.  I've fixed a couple of leaky pushrod seals and fitted a new dipstick boot, my loving wife has supplied me with a roast chicken flavour dehydrated sick-in-a-bag, and I've caved in and bought a hooded undervest thing for keeping out the cold water.  The swell forecast looks reasonable, the weather not too horrible.  Hopefully my laptop battery will last through a long evening and I'll break the back of this blockage before the reconstituted roast chicken gives me a blockage of another kind entirely. 

Oddly, given the progress on the writing front, I seem to be much happier down here this week.  I had a wonderful surf the other day at small Murderer's and had a couple of hilly bike rides over towards Blueskin Bay where I felt genuinely contented, for a bit.  The impending arrival of the ski season is starting to give me the odd heart flutter, and this morning I saw a Hector's Dolphin playing in the harbour at the end of the drive. Yes, I'm missing my friends up North, but the urge to run back with my tail between my legs screaming "take me!" has faded.  Give thanks, Taranaki.


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