Monday, November 25, 2013

Writing on Thanksgiving

For those of you finishing up your National Novel Writing Month projects, you have an interesting issue--Do you write on Thanksgiving? It's on thing to watch football with family as Mom cooks, but can you sneak off into another room and bang out a few thousand words? I would recommend against it. You don't want to get mashed potatoes on your keyboard.

Last year, I was almost done with my science fiction book, but I had a great idea for a scene. I started writing before dawn, and then when I went over to my Mom's house for Thanksgiving dinner, I was still playing with the plot in my head. As this was a science fiction book, should the main character face off against human police or robots in the big showdown on top of the Solar Federation Tower in Albuquerque?

The turkey was perfect, the gravy was savory, but I think I closed my eyes for a moment, halfway through the mail. If the hero faced off against humans, it would be mano to mano and thus more intimate. If he faced off against robots, especially robots with ray guns, it would be more exciting, even if it was less personal. Should the robots be able to fly and should they look like the robots from Battlestar Galactica or should they be more like...

"Are you all right?" My mom asked breaking my reverie.
"Ummm...the turkey was so good, it must have put me to sleep," I said.  I skipped football and wrote some more.

One benefit, was I as able to re-create some dialogue from the dinner and plop it into the manuscript.

When Black Friday game, I found myself drawn to the book store at the mall. I checked out the potential competition's book. I also was inspired by several people I saw in the parking lot. They had fashions that might as well as be from the year 2112.

So my advice to you writers out there. Don't write on Thursday and Friday. Savor your family. You will actually get more ideas from observing than you will from forcing yourself to write. 

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