It’s a real sweet spot when you’re writing fiction – just you, your laptop, a quiet train (or four with connections) and the open countryside of a 5-hour journey. I rarely hit my zone like that but when I do I allow it to fully take me over. It’s energetic, it’s exciting and even though you know where a fiction writing project is going, you are as on the edge of your seat as you anticipate your readers will be.
I hit the zone this weekend travelling down to Cornwall. I expected the engineering works around Bristol to cause me no end of delays as I was directed through Westbury and on to Exeter from there, but no. The network was surprisingly quiet and because I wasn’t forced to take a CrossCountry service, it went smoothly. A few weeks ago, I said that long train journeys are one of my writing sanctuaries, but it’s never been this good (having a table to myself on a quiet service – which in itself was surprising for a Saturday – was particularly useful).
“So what did I achieve?” I hear you ask. Well, despite only the third part of Miss Salter going up this weekend, I actually churned out over 3000 words, split it into six parts and finished the story all in the space of about 4-5 hours. I admit I was on the edge of my seat as I my fingers moved quickly over the keyboard, furiously trying to keep up with my brain.
If only I could get that way about Dead Heat and Romans Vs Aliens, I’m sure both would have been finished long before now. But at least with this project now finished, I can focus largely on those other projects.
I had a real rush when I finally signed off on it. Ok, it’s a short story told in serial format, but most of the ideas came to me while I was on the train. I already had a good idea of how it was going to finish, but the logistics of getting there was the problem to solve and I am proud to say I nailed it 🙂
Have you ever had a time like that where the prose simply seemed to gush out of your fingers?