I have a meeting next Tuesday with a comic book artist and her troupe of local writers to read through the first chapter of A Teenager's Guide. So it's edit, edit, edit, today.
Despite being at the first chapter, I am contemplating the ultimate ending. There's a lot to consider: the novel's balance between comedy and horror, Max's mental well-being, the physical well-being of an entire town, and the overarching thematic question of whether or not society (as represented by said town) is worth saving.
Pardon me while I dance on the head of a pin.
I mentioned recently that a lot of my inspiration to write comes from rage. Most of the act of writing, however, comes from music. Once I know that I'm going to start working on a project long term, I sit down and create a playlist of appropriate songs out of my library. I literally can't write without the appropriate music to put my mind in the right place.
The playlists can change a lot depending on how the story develops; sometimes I'll hear a new song and hunt it down to add it to my collection, or I'll take one off if the story's tone or events change. But the reverse is also true: sometimes I'll hear a new song or listen to an old one in a new way, and the music itself will affect the story.
There's a lot of stuff on the ATG playlist; right now I'm writing Max's intro to the town of Estacada, and listening to Postal Service's song "This Place is a Prison." Max and Kara's love song is "Modern Romance" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I don't know what this entirely necessary connection between music and creativity says about my post-MTV generation, but I can't argue with the facts, yo.