Tuesday, February 9, 2010

keeping track of that made up physics

And now some words of wisdom, from my experience these weeks as a full-time-writer-because-lacking-other-pressing-jobs-at-the-time. Don't get me wrong, it's been a glorious set of weeks, all though difficult, sometimes even in the stereotypical "oh it's so hard to be an artist" way.

Lucky for me, I'm an artists and a physicist, so I can suck it up and do the work, for the most part.

So, when you're writing a good science fiction or fantasy, you have physics to contend with, and then you have the physics that you...er, tweaked a bit. Or in the case of magic systems, completely made up.

It still has to make sense with itself though, and it can't be too out-there, or too powerful. The limitations, and the consequences, are what makes those kind of stories interesting, at least to me.

In my current project, I'm learning a hard lesson that How To Think Sideways teaches well. Keep track of your physics. Know the consequences. Don't just gloss over the details of that part, in the push to just get the draft out, because then you'll stumble over yourself and wonder what's allowed and what isn't.

You have to have a good idea of what's going to be allowed. Sometimes story points grow from that.

Even having all day to write each day, my progress is limited, by slipping story physics, by occasionally stalling story threads. I love this story, but visualization is not quite as easy as it used to be. Maybe spending four years in physics-land took some of the ease out of it for me. Certainly being wound-up like a music box running 90 miles a minute at hundreds of different tasks is, in some respects, easier than devoting all one's time to one task.

What I really mean to say, though, is that it's one hell of an enjoyable ride, even if I still have a mental block that won't let me start till I've had my morning coffee. The more you do something, the easier it is. Soon I'll have to start doing other things. I just got a call for a job interview for a job I thought I was in no way qualified for, which would be the start of one dream, but the postponer of others.

And this is a dream I want to hold on to.

But anyway. I've been forging ahead, and hooray for that.

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