Saturday, October 24, 2009

Faster, stronger

I have written for the last three days. I wrote about 800 words on Thursday, around 700 last night, and just these last 45 minutes I wrote about 450. I am not worried too much about word count, just that I am doing it, but the numbers are a nice way of thinking about progress. One thing I have found, is that as I write more frequently, the entire process becomes less precious. It is easier to dismiss what I have written as junk, and start over. So usually at any stopping point I reach I have practically on my second draft, because I have done so much editing. In fact, After finishing last nights work, I realized that a significant amount of it was not really necessary, and depending on how the rest goes, I might throw out everything from that session. And I didn't feel bad about it! It was just that I had to write it that way, in order to find the way that I actually wanted to write it. It wasn't a finished process, but getting my ideas out like that was a critical step along the way.

I think writing, and probably a lot of other artistic activities (like, say, drawing) is a lot like exercising. Doing it is hard, but it gets comes easier the more you do it, and the less you do, the more it goes back to being hard again. So just doing it often enough will help you work up to doing it longer, and vice versa. Really just doing it is making it easier for me to just sit down and write.

Anyways, here's the bit that I plan on junking, since it probably won't see the light of day anywhere else. Dig those long sentences.

Last night, he had not been out participating in the festivities of Samhain. Though he could hardly have stopped the men from joining, many of them being followers of the old gods themselves, and the others, though Christians, were not above a bit of fun and lechery, he knew that Varus, being not only a Christian, but a Roman Christian, was not amenable to the Celt's somewhat looser interpretation of scripture, (as if always seemed to find room for the old gods and their holy days) and thus he thought it wise to, as the chief negotiator involved in the dispute at hand, to maintain the proper decorum desired by his host. Thus, as his men, including his brother, were out drinking whiskey and wine and bedding the local women, Emrys sat the ready in his small apartment, by the light of a single candle, in his full Centurion uniform, waiting, on the off chance he might be called for.

Last night he had been alone in his room. He was dressed in his full military garb, with his sword at his side, and was sitting upon the only chair in the room, it's back placed against the wall by the doorway. He was sitting perfectly still, his legs side by side, his hands placed gently upon his legs, and his back as straight as a post. He had pushed the table to the other end of the small room, upon which sat a candle, the room's only source of light. Outside he could hear the distance sounds of revelry: whooping, shouting, laughter, and other that, further away, but cutting through the din, the clear melody and rhythm of pipes and drums. He wondered if the people outside could hear them.