I love airplanes. There is something so exciting about getting on a plane and traveling to a different place. There's such optimism, such opportunity. Bitchy people too - I've noticed that people who are miserable traveling are often making the misery for themselves. Me, I love it.
I'm late posting today because I was on a plane, then being treated to lunch at one of my most favorite restaurants in all the world. If you care, I had a shredded chicken burrito smothered in green chile. The best green chile you will ever eat.
I love airplanes not just because of the way travel hurtles you into the unknown, but because it is the one place that I can truly escape. No Internet access, (and if they do have it and it's offered, I decline politely) which means I can, for the duration of a flight, do anything I want without guilt. Listening to music is always high on the totem pole. And I usually read, though on longer flights, I work.
Today, I worked. I finished the edits on my friend's wonderful manuscript, then managed 700 on the sandwiched book. I don't know what else to call it right now - by default, publicly it has taken on the sandwich moniker. Privately, it does have a title. I can't write a book without one.
Tomorrow I start edits on the May '12 book, (yes, it too has a title, and I'll share it after we get the September book birthed into the world.) I'm excited to revisit this story. I've looked through my editor's notes; all points are quite salient. I intend to add a real ending - sometimes I like to turn in books that aren't entirely finished, just to make sure everyone shares my vision, and then I finish things off the way I see fit. Hopefully with a flourish, one that satisfies everyone. This one will end with an epilogue. I'm looking forward to writing it, actually, because it's been floating around my head for three or four weeks now, and I like it.
Yes, sometimes, we actually do like what we write.
This is a good spot to answer Sarah's question from yesterday. She asked:
Do you write your books from beginning to end or do you skip around to certain parts? This is something that bothers me immensely for some reason.
It is an excellent question. I know you can ask ten authors this and get ten answers. For me - I do write in a linear fashion, though I don't follow an outline, instead preferring to make it up as I go. One of the biggest joys of my job is ending the day in a place I never expected. It makes it fun.
Outlining used to give me hives. But the more I write, the more I like having some sort of blueprint to follow. So my usual method goes as follows:
First 25,000 words (100 pages) - Balls to the wall writing. Like my hair is on fire. Not worrying about the story, just telling the tale. By page 100, the story is starting to take shape, and I do a little more thinking about where I go next. I am still working linearly at this point.
When I hit 50,000 words (200 pages) the end sometimes begins to show itself. If it does, and that's a big if, I will skip ahead and write the end. If it doesn't, I continue plowing ahead.
Between 50-75,000 words (200-300 pages) things start coming together. Scenes that need to be dealt with start popping up, so I write them, or at the very least, throw down a couple of paragraphs to remind myself. So I'll have 200-300 pages of real manuscript, and probably 20-30 pages of "what happens next."
75-100,000 usually pours out, not like honey, which I've been dealing with. More like hot maple syrup. These are the 3, 4, 5K days. And then I tie it all together in a tidy little bow. (ha!)
After 9 novels, this method has become pretty typical for me. I also find that almost always, I've started in the wrong place, but that's probably a topic all unto itself.
More tomorrow. As always, ask away. I'm going to go watch the sun set behind the mountains now.