So begins the novel-writing process anew.
I’ve written… well, I dunno, six or seven novels by this point, and the last one (translation: the only good one) is held in the tender hands of my agent. Further, I think it’s also in the tender hands of some editors, and to those editors I say: please buy my novel. Don’t make me beg. I’ll weep! I’ll gibber. It’s true. Ask my wife. When I want something, Lord-a-mercy I get annoying. Nobody wants that. Nobody.
Still, that being said, we writers are sharks. Swim forward or drown.
I either need a new book to follow-up the previous, or I need a new book to replace the failure of the first.
Whatever the case, the mission statement is simple enough: write, write, always write.
As a freelancer, this can be tricky to secure the proper time necessary to devote to such a creature. A novel isn’t something you do overnight, and I need to make sure that I am a) fed and clothed and sheltered but b) also devoting the right time to the “long con.” The short con is freelance stuff, and it puts money in my pockets. The long con is investment in my writing future, and entails big projects, and more importantly, personal projects.
Long way of saying, yes, I’m writing another novel.
I start this process today.
This process is nominally a lonely one. I sit here in my office like a troglodyte in his cave. I live in my own head. I live on the screen. I scratch my man-parts. I eat oatmeal and glop it up it in my chest hair. I rage and howl at nobody. I weep into my coffee. I blubber prayer and paeans given to me by some mad god hunkered down in some distant corner of the universe, some lunatic deity wearing my face and also scratching his balls and chowing down on oatmeal amidst the swirls of galaxies and the flash-pop of supernovas.
And that’s all before like, 7:00 AM.
The reality, though, is that I sit here and I mouth off to you poor bastards, I figure, why not keep that tradition going? Why write this thing alone? I’m not in a vacuum. I have you people to keep me company.
You’ll notice now that I’ve duct-taped you all to your chairs. It’s a lot of duct tape. Don’t entertain notions of freedom. I know, you want to leave the house. You want to pee. You want to see your kids. Mm-hmm.
People in Hell want sno-cones. I’m just saying. You can’t always get what you want.
But you get what you need. Like that guy who had sex with David Bowie said.
And what you need is for me to drag you along during this process. So, that’s what I’m doing. As I write this thing, I’m going to tell you about it. I’m going to blog the process. Process comes first, and the blogging second, but I figure, maybe we’ll all find this interesting. Or, at the very least, you’ll get to watch me flail around on the floor, my body shellacked with my own waste, stabbing the wall with a pen. That’s gotta be worth something, right? The entertainment value alone is good for a couple ducats.
Thing is, I’m not going to actually reveal what I’m writing. I’ve done that, and I don’t much like it. The details are reserved for the finished product. This will go through revisions both during the writing and after — hence, why talk about stuff that could change? I put something out there — or, out “here” — then it’s effectively available to millions of people. No, I don’t expect millions of people to read it, but the point is, when it’s offered to that broad an audience, whatever I put out there becomes effectively “finished.” I don’t want to reveal the machine until it’s built. Until the gears turn properly, until they gleam with a spit-shine.
I will talk about the process of building that machine, though.
And the process will likely reveal all sorts of craziness. The writing “advice” I dispense here is always for me first, and is stuff I’ve learned or have been challenged by as I write, and so blogging the process will surely reveal more of the same. Expect madness. Expect me railing at the heavens. Expect alcohol.
Oh, and for the record, I don’t consider this a blueprint. Not for you, and not even for me. Every project is its own creature and is beholden to its own rules — each little nugget of advice I offer on this site is a tool in the toolbox and nothing else. You choose the proper tools for the job, but not every job needs a hammer. Not every job needs a wrench, or a dildo, or a pack mule, or a flamethrower, or a cabana boy.
Except, y’know what?
Every job does have one tool.
Every job needs coffee.
Oh! You thought I was going to say, “Every job needs the writer,” or “Every job needs your imagination” or “Ass + Chair = Write” or something like that. Whatever. Fuck that, hombre. Every job needs coffee. Because if Daddy doesn’t get his coffee, Daddy’s going to kill some people. Daddy will cut a dude for a chance to nurse at the caffiene-teat. You try to take away my coffee, you will come away with one less hand.
Anyway, tomorrow, I’ll tell you where I began.
And where I began for this project is: the characters.
Meanwhile, I’ll turn the tables. I’ll throw the question to you, my little love-muffins.
Time for you to give me some writing advice.
Go on. Shout it out. Don’t be shy. School bell rang. Class begins for us all.