Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Musings on lightning and lightning bugs

"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug."  ~Mark Twain

Writing isn't an exact science. Hell, it's not really science at all, it's more akin to magic. Science has formulas and proven facts. If you mix X with Y in the right balance then you get a specific reaction, and you get it every time. Magic on the other hand is whimsical and elusive, just like creativity. If you put the same writer in the same room with the same computer and the same inspiration, you will never get the same outcome twice. And that's something of a problem when things like deadlines and word counts start coming into play.

Some days, the words fly out of my brain, onto the page and upon reading them again in a day or so I smile and nod and reward myself with a cookie. Other days the words don't want to leave their happy place at all, and fight like angry wombats, screeching and scrabbling one painful letter at a time on their journey from my brain to the page. Then there are the in between days. The days where the story is there, but I can't quite get the spell components to work together just right, and I get lightning bugs instead of lightning. Right now, my world is full of fireflies, and as pretty as they are, they're not going to cut it.

I'm currently mid-way through Windswept, the next book in the Kismet Cove series, and I'm really pleased with how it's been going. As soon as I clear away the fireflies and find the right incantation, I'll be calling down the lightning again. Hopefully that happens soon, because I'm aiming to have Vivian, Tucker and Byron's story told and submitted to Siren before the end of August.

I think it's time to crack the spell books and see where I went wrong, and if that doesn't work, maybe I'll try a rain dance on the rooftop. If it doesn't bring back the lightning, I'll at least get some exercise.