Thursday, January 19, 2012

Slow and sensual versus hard and fast: the Writer's edition

I am currently in one of those moments, those moment-periods (periods that are composed of moments?), wherein I am possessed by whatever muses/demons/chymical reactions exist that cause one such as I to produce vast amounts of creative output. I am working on two separate novels, both at what effectively feel like blinding, absurd, profane, ecstatic paces; except that I am working on them in two radically different ways.

The first novel is being handwritten. To wit:

did you think this post was about sex? don't be so callous!*
Unfortunately, the fattening binder of completed pages is not visible in this photo: here we see a mere tablet in progress. I'm really enjoying this method of writing, and I suspect it has to do with the fact that this is the sort of the novel that can't really be written fast. It's the only thing I've ever written, I think, that's deeply, essentially character-based. I simply can't think through who/what/why my characters are quickly enough to keep up with my keyboard typing, and if I tried to write this novel on a computer (and, actually, I did; the post-surrender files are still on my hard drive) it would turn out badly (it did!).

On the other hand, I'm also writing a novel that is pure cream. And when I say cream, I mean it is a disgusting, filthy, awful thing that is produced by a terrible industry that takes advantage of weaker creatures in order to nourish disgusting human habits. Yes, that's right: I am producing a pulpy sword-and-sorcery for the masses. It's really wicked-awesome, and I am just as excited for this novel - and all its ancient artifact-wielding, monster-crushing, demon-raising goodness - as the other. This novel, however, is based entirely not on characters, but rather on archetypes, tropes, venial expectations and irascible wit. You can without doubt guess which tool I am using to produce this feckless tract:

it's FocusWriter, bro, get with it.
Yes, my caption writer has got it: it is FocusWriter, and you better get with it. What a swell program. It keeps me fully attentive for the hour I demand of myself - the hour in which I grind my nose to the screen - and saves my product in a neat RTF file that it automatically reopens when next I open FocusWriter.

But, seriously, what strangeitude! Until now, quite honestly, I'm the sort of guy who would say god dammit but there is only one way to do things and that's the way it is, and if you're not with me well then I'll have to line you up against this wall and make an end of you. But no longer. I have indeed made an end of that very Ben, for that Ben did not realize that there is more than one way to do things, and the only way to do things is to realize that there is more than one way to do things. If you don't realize that, you ought to be shot.

Well, alright, that was my post. Thank you.


*If you didn't get this pun, you no longer have permission to read my blog.


  1. The only problem with hand-writing a novel is that later you have to type it all in. Also: electric torch-wielding mobs of Anti-Luddites.

  2. I've never had any desire to write by hand, probably because my own handwriting becomes illegible after more than a page. Kudos for tackling two at once!