Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Math for Writers & An Announcement

It's hard not to picture it like the beginning of the TV show 'Numbers'. . .

That's what I call compelling math.

There are limited number of words knocking around in the world, but hiding among them are all of the stories you can imagine -- my stories, your stories, the unknown plays of William Shakespeare, the lost works of William Blake, the stories that have been told and the stories that are yet to be told.

Richard Price famously noted how crazy it is that writers spend year after year rearranging twenty-six letters over and over again.  It's crazy, but inspiring too, because all stories are made of the same elements combined in different ways. Letters form words almost on their own, but it's enthusiasm and human will that forces them into one end of the clattering, whirring machines and draws a story out the other end.

Starting November 1st, I'll begin writing a novel. If all goes well, I'll have 50,000 words in the bank and a finished first draft.  Adrenaline sports for literary masochists.

And you can follow along!  Following the example of my friend Maggie, I will be setting up a website, either on WordPress or Google Sites where I'll post chapters as I finish them. For the occasion, I'll be rebooting my abandoned YA science fiction story from scratch, throwing out everything except the characters and starting over completely.

50,000 words in month, written in public.  The literary equivalent of working without a net.  A raw and unedited glimpse inside the strange world that exists inside my head in a story that I first pitched to my wife as 'The Nick Adams stories as if they'd been written by Douglas Adams."

Stay tuned for 'Howard Carter Saves the Earth'.

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Pages to Type is a blog about books, writing and literary culture (with the occasional digression into coffee and the care and feeding of giant robots).