Starting a book and suddenly there is this image of being on the plane, looking up at the looming mountain, its peak concealed clouds and into my mind seeps “Are you really gonna climb that thing?” and the reply snaps out “Yep! It’s there to be climbed!”
Well defiance and determination are quite useful tools but sticking with analogy; any climber will tell you you don’t just get a firm pair of boots, a thick sweater, a good solid walking stick, two packs of sandwiches and a flask of coffee and set off whistling a happy tune. Preparation is way beyond just important; it’s vital.
So having, inadvertently set myself into a heroic mould which might be useful considering I am working on a fantasy novel, it’s time to check what will be needed.
Certainly will need a Style Sheet, of the simple sort. Just to make sure the spellings are correct, the locations don’t shift hundred miles (unless there is a very good reason applicable to a fantasy novel) and all those made-up words are spelt consistently.
Must make sure there’s a memory stick to hand at all times to be used regularly at least once a day. As we all know from the Terminator franchise computers cannot be trusted, and it is likely to be the wish of any hard-drive to take a 300 page novel down with its last death rattle making sure that particular doc. is beyond recovery.
Will need inspirational music.- Definitely charge up a new play list on the media player, needs to be at least 4 hours’ worth of all sorts of music, one style tends to set me off down one road and too much frenetic action or morbid heroic reflecting will only work with the very best of writers. And this time, no sneaking off to YouTube to see something being performed ‘live’, that’ll only lead to ‘just one more’, and ‘ooooh more cute fluffy pets’
Have print-outs of memorable quotes to stick to the computer. Ones like Shaw’s “A Life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable but more worthwhile than doing nothing”- tailor made for a writer.
Must make sure a notebook and pen are in pocket or in back-pack to record those sudden flashes of inspiration which with shooting star certainty will fade from the memory.
Oh, yes. Take it seriously from now on, with a sense of proportion of course; snarling at anyone who comes close and disturbs you will only lead to bowl of cold washing-up water in the face at some stage in the day. By serious I mean putting time aside to write and not ‘only when the mood’ takes me.
That’ll do for starters.
Now for the writing
Writing????….Hmmm… That mountain looks higher than before.
Oh no you don’t! No YouTube tonight! (Structure….structure)