The Beginning of All Things

So, things have settled down a bit here, both at work and at home. As such, I’ve now entered that phase of my writerly cycle I call ‘The Self-Flagellation Stage’.

It’s pretty simple; after the times when my writerly output wanes to nothingness due to busyness or laziness, I beat myself ritually until I promise never again to let myself be so damn lax. It never lasts, of course, but I live in hope that one day I will buck this cycle. And on that day, I shall finally consider myself Worthy.

Not sure what I’ll be worthy of, mind you. The title of ‘writer’, rather than ‘dilettante’, I suspect.

But this isn’t about that; this post is about that glorious time when, post-flagellation, I start out on a new project.

I have two on the go at the moment. Both are at the synopsis stage, and one it going to be significantly quicker to write than the other.

The first is a story I want to take with me to the Black Library Weekender this coming week. I’m not there to pitch, you understand – I couldn’t fork out the £250 necessary for a Gold ticket, and besides, my thought was that if I wanted a seat at that table, with those writers, I’d prefer to have been invited there, not paid to be there. But on the Saturday night one of the events planned is called ‘Pitch Factor’. No more details than that have emerged, but one presumes some form of story pitching will occur (images of Christian Dunn as Simon Cowell flit through my head).

So I want a story in my pocket, just in case. I had this year over the weekend, and it has quickly flourished. I got the synopsis written today, and I’d like to have at least the first thousand words to take with me so I have something to back up the pitch. For the curious, it’s a story of a new Imperial Navy captain bonding with his ship. It is not a pleasant experience.

This is the time I enjoy the most. The time when the ideas are fizzing, and you desperately try to get down all the ways the story could spin off, all the small things that will flavour the story to give it extra awesome-points, feeling the central theme of the story emerge from the most basic of outlines. The difficult part – the actual writing – will come later, but for now I want to savour the fun.

I presume it is the same for other writers – is it? What part of the writing process is the most enjoyable for you?


PS – For the really curious, the second project I have on the go is the adaptation of Budapest Will Burn from a short story to a twenty-one thousand word, three-part novella, to hopefully be serialised in a magazine. The synopsis for it is done, and now I just need to get into it. That is November’s task.