After taking a couple of weeks off from writing the novel because of the holidays and family time, I am back on it. This weekend, I went to Outback with my trusty laptop and wrote while I waited for the food to arrive. (Since I’m on a diet, there was less food to wait for, but still sufficient time to make some revisions to the current chapter and nearly double its size.)
I’m sure it’s likely because of the internet and television, but I tend to find more motivation to write away from home. One of these days, if I ever become a full-time writer, I realize that I won’t be able to have either a television or an internet connection in my writing office. Music is fine, in fact, I need some kind of background noise while I write. But the other two are just too much of a temptation.
I had a scare during my writing there. Just before the entree arrived — with steamed veggies instead of those wonderful garlic mashed potatoes — as I was finishing up one paragraph, my laptop screen went black. Low battery.
Had I saved recently? Of course not. That would have made too much sense. But I always keep legal pads with me in the same laptop bag, so I quickly jotted down some notes about what I’d just written and added a little more. I was pretty sure I’d be able to piece together what I’d just lost when I got home.
Luckily, when I did get home, I found that my old little Mac laptop had saved the day, after all. It had quickly saved just before shutting down, so I didn’t lose a word.
While at Outback, my waitress noticed me plugging away at the keyboard and asked what I was writing. When I told her I was writing a horror novel, she mentioned that one of the waiters was writing a book as well. After the meal, I went over and met Nigel, who is a college student who plans to write a non-fiction book about folklore. He is an anthropology/history major and, for 20 years old, seems incredibly well-read on those subjects. He and I got together yesterday and I told him some of the aspects of my plotline, into which a vampire plays a significant role. I told him about the potential snags that I was concerned about when it came to “fudging” some parts of the “rules” of the vampire world, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that what I had in mind, according to his research, didn’t really seem too far of a stretch.
We went into detail about different aspects of vampirism and how different cultures bring subtle changes to the myth. Nigel reminded me that nearly every culture in the world, even those that are so isolated that they’ve had no contact with any other culture, has some form of a vampire myth in its history. There is a good deal of variance in the form these “monsters” take, but the concept of a blood-sucking supernatural creature, in one form or another, seems to be of global appeal.
It may surprise some of you to know that I didn’t do a great deal of research on vampirism going in because I wanted the story to form on its own first. Once I had the basics in place and was happy enough with them, then I slowly started reading up on the subject from a variety of sources, some of which disagreed with each other. But I wanted my story to evolve itself without any restrictions to see where it would go before I tried to force any “reality checks” into the folklore. I’m just glad that what I’ve come up with — at least so far — doesn’t seem to break any major conventions.
As for the writing itself, I’m not making any firm goals about how much I want to write per day or per week at this point. I just want to see how quickly the words come now that the new year has begun. While I was successful in completing the first draft of the ghost story by my December 1st deadline, I don’t want to push my luck too quickly.