This week the muse just wouldn’t appear; I sat at our usual meeting place (my PC) and she just stood me up – can you believe it, fickle bunch these muses. However, I didn’t just go home with my tail between my legs (technically, I was already at home, and I don’t actually have a tail, but you get the drift). No, instead, I just toughed it out. Wrenching out a couple of thousand words. One at a time. The hard way.
Now I know that in the cold light of a new day, and hopefully with a muse that doesn’t have a blag on, these words will turn out to be pure unadulterated c**p, and that no amount of polishing will improve them to the point of useability – actually that reminds me of an old boss I used to have that called that process turd polishing; he would say you could polish and buff it up as much as you want but all you get in the end is a shiny turd! Anyway, I digress… the point is that sometimes you just have to work like this, work through the idea desert to the oasis of literary gold.
The cold light of day arrived, and rather than condemning this weeks efforts, the muse (duly present and unapologetic as ever) posed an altogether different question, one slightly more disturbing than usual. That is, what proportion of a novel should be dialogue, action, description, scene-setting, etc. I didn’t know. I looked in my ever-expanding library of ‘how to’ books on writing and they didn’t really help either. I wonder, is there a magic formula? Does it depend on genre? Or am I worrying unduly? Thinking about what I have written so far, there is a lot of dialogue and not nearly as much action (although I still have the main action scenes to write). Have you ever heard of a ‘nirvanic’ ratio – if so, do tell…