Watching Water Boil.
I am constantly fighting with time. My perception of time is inherently skewed and I can’t put my finger on when just about anything in my life actually happened. Birthdays are basically the closest I come to getting fairly accurate on what the event signifies and what date that the original event happened.
Otherwise it is a nightmare. Which is where my issues with story writing tend to manifest most clearly. Space and Time are two things I cannot handle well on their own, put them together and you have this hybrid monster that I cannot comprehend much less defeat.
So today I decided to bridge those gaps with the help of the internet. At least as far as my story writing is concerned, I took the rough distance of the regions in my story world and then I found the average time it would take to get from point A to point B,C,D, and so on. I then found the difference in time for riding a horse or a horse drawing a carriage.
One would assume that a horse would be quicker but you also need to haul gear with the horse and food for the horse. The actual strain on the rider is less than walking but the time is longer. Then if you are hauling something like a carriage or a cart it becomes even more pronounced. Do you have a group moving in tandem? They are likely to move less fast than a single scout.
I took all this information and then figured out when each event I’ve already written would need to play out to fit a reasonable timeframe. I extrapolated that on Excel and created a triple column (could actually do better as four) timeline of all events in the first book both written and unwritten.
What this leaves with now is merely filling in the blanks. Adding content in the gaps and adding the sections I haven’t written yet.
I went from a seemingly uncontrollable mass of locations, characters, and timelines to a very easy to follow timeline split into three parts. It turned writing today from a bit of a stressful endeavor into more of a pleasurable one. It also helped that I watched the rest of the Wonders of the Universe, anytime I get my hands on new astronomy documentaries I am a happy man.
So it looks as though the initial draft of the story could be finished quite soon. If I could marry that accomplishment with other successes in the next few months I think that this could become one of my favorite years. The trick then will be to mark it on a calendar, otherwise I’ll be back at square one.
As for the potentially unrelated nature of the title. I was inspired to do what I did by the fact that I literally watched water boil today. Watching small bubbles grow and multiply, slowly overtaking the water until the entire thing was a writhing mass of expanding and escaping gas.
It was quite lovely and the grits weren’t too bad either.