After running around sorting out our TV (aerial coming on Wednesday) and also de-crapping the loft, I’m back on course with Zero Point. 2,000 words cleared today and some neat little plot elements beginning to tie off. One character, created in a Chandlerish moment of ‘this is getting slow, need to walk in man with gun’, started to turn into a bit of a loose end. This was, until I realized that he fits into the story like that dusty old jigsaw piece you find under the sofa.
It would be easy to think in terms of predetermination at such a point, but it’s not that at all. I mean, I hadn’t been considering the possible existence of Line War when I was writing Gridlinked. I had written an outline and about 30,000 words of The Line of Polity but, as I’ve mentioned before, I dumped the outline and all but a few thousand words when I came to write it. And at that point I didn’t even know the title of the next book, or the ending of TLOP.
I think it’s all about having read an awful lot, and then having written an awful lot. Maybe the programming is in place in my skull and now all I have to do is feed in the story as it occurs to me. Plot elements, characters, situations, technology, whatever, all get number crunched and results start popping up on the mental screen, and the answer to that perennial question, ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ has to be a finger tapped against the skull with perhaps the addition of the words, ‘Fuck knows how.’