On every major book I’ve written (read: every good one), there’s been a little switch that eventually trips in my head, where sleep no longer becomes an issue for me. Sometimes that switch trips on the first couple chapters, as with the After Earth series, or, as with Alaskan Fire, which was 1/2 of the way written before I once again picked it up (and ze switch hadn’t flipped back then, either), it wasn’t until about 105,000 words that everything kind of went BAM and a required 8.5-9 hours of sleep suddenly became 5 1/2.
Accompanying this switch flipping, I tend to have really complex and interesting dreams, like (for instance) the dream in which I was writing in front of two screens, one of which had the words and sentences as I wrote them (and yes, I understand the words perfectly–but since when did I use COURIER to write?!?!) and the other screen having the scene as it played out, movie-style. When something happened in the move that Sara didn’t like, Sara deleted a few paragraphs and the whole thing rewound, then she started again. That particular one was about gargoyles surviving in a major city. Interesting, but I don’t really have much experience in a major city, so I never did anything with it.
Also accompanying the switch-flipping is a distinct lack of need to eat. Oh, and the fact that if I spend much time doing ANYTHING but write the book, I totally fall into a huge depression spiral that ends in a minor nuclear meltdown. On the other hand, however, it almost feels like my brain got upgraded, and I can think of dialogue, action, and exposition without actually thinking about it. Just goes straight from the ether to the page, and I have fun reading it later. My ability to concentrate kind of amplifies, about the a dozen times the power of caffeine. The world becomes a super-sharp buzz, and there’s almost a ringing in my ears (hell, who’s kidding, my ears are humming right now). So, uh, yeah. Not sure if that’s a lack of sleep talking, but I find it interesting.
Current update: Am 123,866 words into Alaskan Fire. Am putting the finishing touches on the last major fight scene, after which there will be some wrap-up scenes, and then I gotta go back to the middle and massage it into submission. Forcasted ending is about 140k words, but I’m not opposed to going over.
Proud Graduate of Odyssey ’08