Notes on Writing Fast

I should hit the ostensible halfway mark on AVALON BURNING in the next week or so. Writing every day isn’t new to me by any means but writing at this pace and in such immersion every day (except Monday, which is Podcast Day) is something I haven’t tried before in any structured way. I’m enjoying the hell out of it and I’m learning some interesting and surprising things:

  • Abandoning my usual deliberateness and constant on-the-fly revision I find that my style doesn’t really seem to change. My phrasing and rhythm and idiosyncrasies are in the marrow now it seems and not some affectation layered with deliberate forethought or slathered on after the fact. I find this reassuring, as it simply verifies for me that this is how I write now.
  • I find that despite the stated goal of pushing on I still need to stop a few times a week to reread what I’ve done so that I don’t lose sight of details or continuity, foreshadowing and momentum.
  • I’m startled how much of the novel really is there the first time out.  Subtext, planted themes and imagery, hints and payoffs. It’s gratifying and a little creepy that the book entire really does seem to be already lodged in my head.
Pinstriping (photo by Ken Mitchroney)

I did take the time to do some research on hyenas. Lions can kiss my ass. Hyenas friggin rock.

Some weird details and surprises that have emerged in the narrative:

  • Centaurs have a violent reaction to coffee
  • Centaurs pinstripe their didgeridoo/spears
  • I am about to make downtown Los Angeles one scary-ass place to be (can we take the “it already is” comments as read?)
  • I am in love with Avy. (She was a minor character in ELEGY BEACH and is the protagonist of AVALON BURNING.)
A better life awaits you offworld at Universal City Walk!

I am heading down to Los Angeles this weekend to visit friends. Part of my mission is to run around Universal City Walk with a camera and a legal pad and take my usual frantic and maniacal notes. It’s gonna be fun to Change-ify City Walk because I just hate the place. I used to teach there. Perhaps the most surreal thing about it is that there’s a UCLA Extension campus there, fergodsake.

4 Replies to “Notes on Writing Fast”

  1. At one point in “Elegy Beach”, you wrote that Disney Land had some kind of messed up society as a result of the Change, but you didn’t go into depth about it because the characters had other things to worry about.

  2. Ah! That was really just a throwaway and an oblique reference to another reference in ARIEL about Pete & Ariel going through Disneyworld. I throw rocks at Disney whenever I can, but I really don’t want to use the backdrop of the Change to write what could only end up being some kind of farcical diatribe. Like my characters, I have other things to worry about.

    I am writing about Avy, and she is about as far from Disney as possible. More power to her.

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