Mel Hynes (takhisis) wrote,
Mel Hynes


So, this will sound silly to most people on my friends list, but:


Seriously. I've tried to write books in the past, goodness knows I've got 3 or 4 plots stored in the ol' archive (along with the 15-20 short stories that are churning and howling and demanding my every waking second shut up I have to work my actual JOB some time, damn you). But every time I tried, I'd sit down, plot out the whole thing chapter by chapter, start on it, and then... pfizzle. Not that I hit a block per se, I knew where the story needed to go, but the muse would go on permanent vacation. After a while I started taking it as a sign that okay, my medium is short stories, I'm destined for the pow-bam-socko-thank-you-ma'am format, I can live with that. I mean, I've always wanted to paint but that's not my talent either. (One of my long-running jokes is the way I became a decent writer was by being a sucky artist... I could never learn to draw what I wanted people to see so I ended up learning to describe it vividly instead.)

J. has managed to outsmart my subconscious. About a year ago (J. has pointed out it was last November... my time-sense is borked anywhere beyond a month on each side, really) we came up with this book idea, actually based off a bizarre line I threw into an email one day right before we went on vacation. While we were on vacation we kept tossing the idea around, and eventually ended up coming up with an entire plot line for a novel broken down. He said he wanted us both to work on it, and I said okay, figuring I'd contribute a line or maybe a few paragraphs here or there (as I've done in the past). He wrote the first two and a half chapters and then sent it to me with a "tag, you're it!" I looked through what he'd written, stifling my giggles at work, then figured yeah, I can see where this chapter is going. I'll finish it off and hand it back. So I finished the chapter, showed it to him and he guffawed. "No way, keep going!"

Sure, I can start the next chapter. I looked back through the plot notes and dived in. Halfway through chapter four, I sent it over to him. "That's great! Just finish up the rest of this chapter!" Sure, I can do that...

Now we're halfway through chapter six and he's added one more page to it and it's back in my hands. And for the first time it's hit me: Holy SHIT, I'm actually writing a BOOK. I'm actually DOING it. Somehow, by rigging my brain into the good old "I can do this" short-story mindset of only writing a chapter or scene at a time, I've actually gotten past an unknown SOMETHING and it's actually happening. Sure, it's a first draft. The chapters I'm writing are much shorter than they need to be and will have to be fleshed out later, but it's actually HAPPENING. I'm not sure how to actually convey the feeling beyond an "I know Kung Fu!" kind of awed gaping blink. I've never before had the experience of something I was so utterly convinced was beyond my abilities suddenly coming to me... not EASILY, there's no clicking of heels, "you had the power within you all along!" magical sparkly bullshit, but at least being possible where before it was entirely in the realm of NO.

Coincidentally, I've always been a very good sprinter but I've never been able to run long distances. If I woke up tomorrow and discovered I could do cross-country I wouldn't be any more surprised.
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