Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I don't know if I've mentioned it here before, but I usually don't get writer's block. I'm not going to say I never get it, because sure as shooting, I'll come down with a raging case next blink of my eyes, but I can't remember having a lot of trouble writing, except once when I got into a knock-down drag-out argument with my hero who refused to do something until I pointed out to him the situation, and he finally admitted that he probably would do what I wanted him to do--but he'd be real upset with himself the next day.

There you go--I'm queen of the run-on sentence. Anyway, like I said, I don't usually just come to a complete and grinding halt and find myself unable to write another word. I get the stupids. That's where every word that flows out of the pen is just ... stupid. The narrative is stupid. The dialog is stupid, the characters are Stupid and everything is just Stupid, STUPID, STUPID! However, this week--okay, today--it's been rough going. I kept having to stop to figure stuff out.

It wasn't so much that I had to stop for research, though I did need to be sure that people have to go before a magistrate to have a bail set, and that solicitors are the ones who accompany someone for bail, in England. But I could have fudged that. Left gaps till I had time to do more thorough research. (Besides, I have a source in the newsroom--Ian the Brit answers all kinds of questions willingly for me.)(And I'm going to have to break down and get a historical map of London. Sigh.)

Where I really ran into problems was when I realized I didn't know exactly how the magic worked that I was using. I hadn't thought things through, and I needed to. I needed to know how magicians interacted with the spirits they call, and what the morality of the magic was. That stuff was important. And I figured out that conjury was as inherently moral as sorcery, in my universe. I even had to understand the rules for heaven and hell.

I still don't know everything about how this magic works. I need to look up some of the stuff I figured out for the previous book, but took out of the pages. I can't find it in notes or deleted materials--I may not have typed it into the computer. In which case, I KNOW it's in the first draft tucked away in its 3-ring binder...somewhere. I don't think I've moved the binders yet. In which case, they'll get moved down here in the next couple of weeks, when we move all our furniture to the island. But it might be here...

Anyway, it's frustrating when I have to stop and work out stuff I really should have worked out earlier--but I sorta thought I already had. I mean, I wrote a whole book set in this universe. It just didn't occur to me that I'd be writing about a different kind of magic in more detail than I had in the previous book. And honestly, even if I had worked out stuff about conjury ahead of time, I would still be discovering things about it as I write. I never know all the secrets till I get there. Sometimes, I do make them up. But sometimes, they just sort of...come.

All kinds of things bubble up out of that swamp, and I never know what it will be next.

Manticores have made a recent appearance...

Oh! AND, I have ridden my new red Schwinn bicycle all the way to 39th Street today!! That is 53rd Street to 39th Street, plus the two blocks from the subdivision--and back again. Farther than I've been able to take myself before. My knees may whine for the next few days, but I got past 45th Street, which means I rode more than 2 miles.

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