\”It takes an awful lot of time for me to write anything. I have
endless drafts, one after another; and I try out fifty,
seventy-five, or a hundred variations on a single line sometimes. I
work on the process of refining low-grade ore. I get maybe a couple
of nuggets of gold out of fifty tons of dirt. It is tough for me.
No, I am not inspired.\”
See, I am not alone. I have been working on this one novel, oh, for about three years. Consistantly. Quite a few thinking about it before that. Thing is, the questions every one asks, \”Is the book published? How\’s the book?\” stop being nice after the first year or so. Because John Grisham can churn out three books and year, as can most romance novelists, the general, non-book writing population thinks that is the regular production level. And we laugh here at the storyfactory. Actually, Lego the dog laughs, I just want to cry and get the stinking thing done.
But it\’s a lot like baking bread. There are some things that cannot, in anyway be rushed. It has to proof, like yeasty dough. All you can do is make sure the conditions are right and let the little yeast critters do their thing. With books, you have to make the conditions right and then let the story do its thing. Otherwise it feels forced and fake. Madeleine L\’Engle calls is serving the work. The story grows like yeast and you know when it\’s ready, when it is strong enough for you to work on it without killing it.
And then there are the huge rabbit trails you go on and get lost, and have to back track and rewrite and yeesh…
\”I turn sentences around. That\’s my life. I write a sentence and
then I turn it around. Then I look at it and I turn it around
again. Then I have lunch. Then I come back in and write another
sentence. Then I have tea and turn the new sentence around. Then I
read the two sentences over and turn them both around. Then I lie
down on my sofa and think. Then I get up and throw them out and
start from the beginning.\”
And there\’s a day\’s work.