I had not meant to be gone this long. Bad discipline; nothing new. I’m going to try to do a focused talky thing here, so if you’re looking for story check tomorrow’s post.
Last night as I went to bed I employed a technique which I’ve known about for a long time. A trick to help me write the next morning. A thought game I neglect to use nearly all the time: think about what you want to write in the morning. Simple enough, but hard to accomplish effectively when the next twenty-five things through your head before falling asleep aren’t that one writing thing. This was the case last night.
Even before that, there was trouble. When I considered today’s writing, I couldn’t get my head out of the Hartwhile garage. I couldn’t imagine any other shops, bars, groceries, or tattoo parlors sharing the space carved out by Honey Farm Circle. I couldn’t jet out of Honey Farm Circle to imagine the clinic, or the RBG’s office, or the showdown locale. I couldn’t imagine what the constabulary (constablewick?) looked like. Where it was located or how far.
Today, as I write this, I’m wondering if having a defined setting isn’t one of those requirements I have for my writing, but hadn’t realized until now. A quick mental inventory of the things I’ve written here on 1000 Days seems to bear this likelihood out. Whether I convey that setting to the reader or not, I have one for my characters; even when they just talk on the page, they’ve got a place to talk in my head. Great.
Wait, non-sarcastic great. Could this mean I’ve unlocked a solution to some of my writing challenges? Could it mean that merely (ironic use here) coming up with a hut, street, mesa, corner, jungle, attic, or office in which to have my characters talk and act will keep me moving forward on the page? Surely such props are non-critical needs?
I know that some folks write by starting with maps. When I did that sort of thing before 1000 Days, I ended up spending a bit more time platting than plotting. I suspect I’d be able to rein that in a bit these days.
390 words on day 926