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Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Down at the Factory of the Imagination

I'm a slow writer. I know I am.  Some days, I end up with less words on the page than at the beginning of the day.  Although, hopefully, they're better-placed words.

Be that as it may, in addition to the novel I'm currently working on, I have a queue of five books waiting to be written, and as many short stories.  And I want to get them out.  To that end, I'm trying to write faster ... without sacrificing the telling of the story, the placement of the words.

I set myself a goal at the start of May: to lay down 10,000 reasonably polished words every month until novel Number Three is finished.  That would be just about doubling my output.


Well, it's 1st June today (the first day of winter in these 'ere parts, me hearties) and the word count has grown from 30,000 to 40,000 in the last month, so I'm reasonably content.  If I get to 50,000 by the end of this month, then I'll feel like I've really achieved something, and if I can keep that going throughout these winter months, then spring may see in the first of the final edits - fingers crossed (but not too crossed, otherwise it's difficult to type).

Now, back to work at the Factory of the Imagination.

7 comments:

gary said...

no better time than winter to get down to some serious writing! Although, then again, your winter isn't quite like ours, Paul!

I sometimes find that when you set yourself a word count, it kind of gets you a bit more disciplined for the time you're trying to do it. More often than not you get sucked into the story even more and the words flow faster. A case of the more you put in...!

Hope you're well, Paul and good luck with the word count :)

Jane Turley said...

I think it's great, possibly esssential, to have a target. (I am completely useless without deadlines myself which is why I produce so little.)But don't cheat yourself out of those moments of wordplay which you clearly enjoy and which are integral to your writing:)

I like that phrase "Factory of the Imagination." It would be a fabulous title for a book. (Oh..and please don't tell me it's a classic I haven't read!!)

Mike French said...

So is your head like Willie Wonka's Chocolate factory Paul? Interesting place. Just put the finsihed ms in the great glass elevator when you're done and send it shooting up out of the factory roof.

Paul said...

Definitely, Gary - too many distractions on a warm, summer's day. Mind, it's been a wintry autumn, which might account for me getting a decent start with the new regime. Hope all is well with you too, Gary.

Deadlines are a bit like New Year resolutions, Jane: most people make them in order to break them! But you're right, a target at which to aim can provide an impetus of its own.

As for the Factory of the Imagination, Mike and Jane, I think the image (circa turn of the 19th century) captures the state of my brain: rather crowded and not always as efficient as it might be.

I was arranging for a great glass elevator, but was provided with a heavy, old thing instead: it has an iron, concertina door, which is difficult to close at times, but if the door catch falls open between floors then the lift stops and sometimes gets jammed there. I had a whole chapter stuck between floors for three months once.

Jane Turley said...

Strangely enough, a relative of mine fell down a lift shaft in a hotel and died - it would have been in the late 1920s, early 1930s. Getting stuck in a lift doesn't sound so bad when you think of it like that - so long as you get out on the right floor! And you will:))

Paul said...

Jane, I'm reminded of the story of a lift operator in the Empire State Building, who was working there when it was hit by a fog-blinded military plane in 1945, killing 14 people. Betty Lou Oliver received injuries when the building was hit, but, in being transported on a stretcher in one of the lifts, the weakened elevator cable broke and it plunged 75 floors. She had to be rescued all over again, but still survived. Talk about resilient.

Jane Turley said...

Surviving a 75 floor drop? That's pretty amazing. Obviously, Betty Lou was destined for higher things:))