Sunday, April 17, 2011

Full speed ahead!

One theory I've read about the Titanic is that if the ship had not attempted to steer around the iceberg, it would not have sunk. It wouldn't have been pretty, but the tremendous rip along her outer hull would never have happened and most of the crew and passengers would have been rescued.
That's an allegory for where I am with Sexton Sand.
As I've mentioned before, I don't outline my books. I like to keep spontenaiety going by having only a vague idea of where the book will take me (and hopefully you) before it ends and the next one begins.
As a result, sometimes I find myself wondering what's going to happen next. That's where "Full Speed Ahead" comes in. "Full Speed Ahead" involves sitting at the keyboard under a phrase in bold print--in this case the phrase is Chapter Sixty-eight--and staring at the blank screen below it. I find there's only one answer, and it often involves judicous use of the delete key.
I start typing. If I like what I type, I keep it. If I don't like what I type, I delete it. Sometimes I delete a lot. Sometimes I don't delete at all.
And sometimes, as you'll see below... I post the thing on a blog while I clear my head.

So, here it is--tonight's production (so far) of Chapter Sixty-eight, Sexton Sand.

Nick parked in a corner of the gravel lot as far away from the beach and the latrines as he could. He left the keys in the ignition. The car was an old Ford Taurus with more miles on it than anyone who worked on it thought it should have and he kept it only for winter days when he didn’t want to drive his newer car. If it was stolen, it would be someone else’s problem.

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