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Of slow blogging and the creative process

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 2:35 am - November 21, 2012.
Filed under: Writing

Just over six months ago, I anticipated taking time off from blogging to focus on, among other things, laying the groundwork for a fantasy epic that has been kicking around in my ahead for about ten years.  I had thought that then I could finally complete the first chapter of which I had only completed two paragraphs.  Unbeknownst to me, a number of obligations, some related to this blog, others to my family, would distract me from this endeavor.

Finally thought, in October, perhaps due to the encouragement of Sarah Hoyt, nearly a full six months after I had intended to begin serious work on the book, I found myself writing.  Almost six months to the day after posting the piece linked above, I finished the first draft of the first chapter.

I printed it out before my trip back to Cincinnati, reading/editing it on my return flight to Los Angeles.  It was a strange thing seeing word-images of paper that, for many years, had merely been ideas stirring in my head.  At the time, I had never expected to write a fantasy novel, then more interested in crafting screenplays.

But, the story kept coming back to me, the characters come alive in my head, oftentimes without my bidding.  At times, it seems I wasn’t creating the story, but remembering the events.  And many of the characters lacked names, with one becoming known as the Young Wizard’s brother’s wife’s mother.  The Young Wizard, one of the  story’s two primary protagonists, remains unnamed, but, on Monday, while reading Camille Paglia’s Glittering Images did chance upon a name for the hero — who had gone unnamed even as I wrote the first draft of the first chapter of the book.

I had anticipated doing a little blogging Tuesday, but found myself editing the manuscript again by hand, then typing in the changes.  The process consumed more of the day than I had anticipated, draining me of what little “creative” energy I had left after my trip.

And suddenly now I have something to show.

It was six years ago when I first “knew” where the book would begin, but I have long since abandoned the initial opening I had written by hand in a little moleskin notebook, keeping only the hero on the road, fleeing an unknown danger, accompanied by his aging mother, who knows something of the danger (and her son’s heritage).

I’m not sure I’m saying anything really valuable here, save to wonder at the creative process and to explain the slow blogging.

I know that tomorrow* when I wake, I will want to review the newly printed-out copy of the revised first draft, hoping to have a presentable copy to share before I set off to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sister and her sons. And the efforts to complete the chapter may hinder my blogging.

If blogging is slow, you will know the reason why.

*I write this at about 11PM PST on Tuesday to post in the wee hours of Wednesday morning GayPatriot blog time.  So what I write as tomorrow here, you should read as today.



  1. it’s amazing how fast Sarah has become well known and well thought of in the circle of blogs I read. I’m a big Baen fan and not all that long ago she was just another name on the sidebar and one day a link to something somewhere sent me to According… I think I related to it from a first reader perspective or something.
    There I commented on it, then went back say a day later and there are two other folks I know commenting (one with some involvement at Baen, who I also did some first reading for, and the other just a long time net acquaintance, artist, and independent author).
    Soon I’m seeing Insty linking to her books, then her blogs, then she goes viral … especially when she let her political side shine through.

    Sounds like you write a lot like the long time acquaintance I have. He says the characters come alive in his head and often pester him to write out their story. They write themselves and he just relates them to others. Sarah too jokes about the voices in her head. Characters are residents of the mind.

    Me? I gotta wait for others to write those folks out. I’m not creative in that way. It is also fun to get to know more about certain authors and see where some of those characters come from, whether from reality(like reading Travis Taylor and then seeing episodes of Rocket City Rednecks. His Brother-in-law and Rog are in most of the books somewhere and somehow) or from “thin air”.

    Comment by JP — November 21, 2012 @ 3:19 am - November 21, 2012

  2. Keep it up
    The world needs more Fantasy novelists and you seem to know how to string sentences together in readable ways. Hope you strike gold with it.
    The one time I tried to write a book I got stuck in the editing process too soon. As someone whose “great American novel” is still unfinished, its silly for me to give advice. However I strongly suggest you just sit down and crank it out and edit later. Otherwise you will get stuck in the minutia of the process and not focus on the content.
    Good luck!

    Comment by mike — November 21, 2012 @ 4:31 am - November 21, 2012

  3. Good luck on your book! It sounds like the right opening–running for your life from an unknown danger. Keep going. November is NaNo month.

    Comment by Louise B — November 21, 2012 @ 10:32 am - November 21, 2012

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  13. That is so exciting. I wish you the best of luck. Writing a book is HARD, and I applaud anyone — especially a gifted writer like you — who manages to get his imaginative ideas written down.

    Comment by Bookworm — November 29, 2012 @ 6:18 pm - November 29, 2012

  14. Send Sarah my way. I’m in serious need of a muse…

    Comment by Scott Kirwin — November 29, 2012 @ 7:06 pm - November 29, 2012

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