"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Friday, December 03, 2004

Write or Wrong

What, you expect good puns on a Friday? Feh.

Finding out the other day that I still had three use-'em-or-lose-'em vacation days to burn before the end of the year, I booked today off. The Project Del Muerte went into code freeze yesterday (can I get a "huzzah"?) and I had a sneaking suspicion I'd need the downtime.

I spent most of the day with the Mini Dell of Doom (the new laptop), which is now happily and securely connected to the Mighty Dell of Doom (the great hulking thing on my desk) via the Router of Doom. You have to name things to network them, at least with my router, so I found a theme and went with it. I suspect I've been watching too much Invader Zim.

Anyway, I logged 2,300 words today, which is a new personal best. One of these days, when I get an honest-to-gosh Day Completely To Myself (which will no doubt involve not only time off work but also giving Mr. Third Base Line a plane ticket to somewhere with a beach), I'm going to go for 3,000. I think I can do it if I'm inspired and don't need to, say, do six loads of laundry like today.

Inspiration can be problematic, though. Sometimes I really have trouble maintaining my own interest in the story. I came to the conclusion recently that it really boils down to one thing.

I know how it ends.

There's just no suspense. Sure, there are details that need to work themselves out as the story progresses, and sometimes characters take on a life of their own and veer off in odd directions. And that can definitely be exciting. There's also a sense of pride and satisfaction to be derived from telling a story well that can't be gotten from simply reading one. It requires a certain patience, one I can't summon every time I'd like, to derive satisfaction from exercising that skill. And it's not a skill I'm entirely certain I possess, truth be told.

It's not that I don't enjoy writing--I do! At least, I do when it's going moderately well, or when a character does something even I didn't expect, or when I recall that several dear people I'd rather not piss off don't yet know how the story ends and would rather like to.

Of course, even when the last line is written, the story isn't necessarily over. There might be a sequel.

That should keep me interested...

1 rejoinders:

Fourth pew, center sounded off...

Well, we don't have a beach. But when SeaWorld opens up, Mr. Third Base Line can visit Down South . . .