What gives? I can honestly say that it’s not entirely due to laziness. I’ve been writing probably three days a week – less than the five I’d promised, but still something. So, let’s make a story of it. It’s what I’m here for, after all.
I deliberately took the first two weekdays of August off – I had things to attend to, and I was intending to substitute the otherwise-sacrosanct weekend for my first two updates before moving to a straightforward weekdays-only schedule. I even used some of those early days to throw ideas around and see if I could come up with anything interesting, which is funny in its own way, because that was when disaster struck. I found myself afflicted by a condition that I had never suffered before. I must stress that this was truly unprecedented. Even back in May 2011, when I updated this thing every single day of the week and was forced to chain my hands to the keyboard while flailing up and down in the hope that I could produce something through a variation of the thousand-monkeys-with-a-thousand-typewriters method (I call my version ‘Bogoscript’), I had never experienced this problem. But for better or worse, it happened: I had gotten an idea for a story.
The novelty of the situation didn’t really impress itself upon me at first, as I was too busy sitting down and putting pen to paper, wanting to capture as much of the concept as I could before it could realise its own impossibility and evaporate. Naturally, that’s where the problems began. At first it was small things – just tweaks, really. I decided that my choice of protagonist wasn’t ideal and swapped the point of view to their offsider. I decided to switch the narrative to the first person. I decided to change my protagonist back to the original character. I felt that shifting to the present tense would aid the storytelling process. My early drafts grew about as relevant to the story as the wikipedia page on tigers (and less amusing than some sections of the talk page).
This was not the end of it, of course. I decided to change the details of the setting. The ending, which had been the element that the entire story concept had crystallised around back when I first worked on it, turned out to not be so clever – naturally, I did not have any idea of how to improve it. My protagonist informed me in no uncertain terms that she was a woman, not a man. She stopped being a politician and became a soldier. Her rival for protagonism got jealous about her being a soldier as well as him and went off in a huff, which may or may not have prompted her to change careers once more, briefly flirting with being a criminal before becoming a journalist. I had to figure out why the lifts didn’t work properly (no seriously this was a huge headache for a while). My newly reacquired borrowing privileges at the Barr Smith library led to me being reminded by Ursula Le Guin that all knowledge is local and all truth is partial. I decided that the story would mostly be about space, even though the action had not at any point taken place less than a kilometre underground. I began to think that perhaps I might have to revise my publication schedule, since my long-standing plan of “tomorrow night, for sure!” had yet to produce anything. My protagonist was now a demigod, and also no longer sure that she wanted to be a protagonist.
At this point I realised that I probably needed to sit down and think about it before just writing more stuff, and shortly after admitted that it probably wasn’t going helping the cause of updating once every weekday, since ten of them had come and gone without any blog-related action. Ah well, at least it makes for a good excuse.
So! This thing can sit on the backburner for a while and I’ll return to my horrible old ways and vomit out something resembling words for the rest of the month, and lift my embargo on reading actually interesting* words for fear I infect my own work with competence. See y’all tomorrow.
*(not a guarantee, seeing as I haven’t read them yet)