Backstory: In the 60’s, the powerhouse Top 40 music station in New York City, and most of the east coast, was 77 WABC. Although its studios were on 6th avenue in New York City, its transmitter ‘shack’ was knee deep in a swamp in the Jersey Meadowlands. The highest power transmitter allowed by law, 50,000 watts, created an RF electrical field so powerful that “fluorescent lights” in the shack never went off, they were always on, even if unplugged, they just glowed naturally from the intense power in the air. However, the balanced AAA class phone lines that connected the studios to the shack, were the weak link in the chain. So off in the corner, sat a solitary tape machine with two giant 10-inch metal reels loaded and waiting for somebody to push “Play”
On that tape was the incomparable Dan Ingram playing records and talking them up just like always, except from time to time he’d say, “If you are hearing me now it means we were almost off the air.” It was a Standby Tape, ready to fill the airwaves until the problem was fixed.
Here now, for similar reasons, let’s delve into for lack of a better word “authoring.”
Here’s the secret: I still hate writing. But I love authoring. Authoring is a multifaceted discipline of which the actual act of writing is a vehicle to achieve the end. To me an author is the strategic planner, the visionary, the god of the universe the he invents. Writing on the other hand is tactical, trapped within the lines the author has proscribed. Writing is the last part of my authoring process. In fact, I talk a story to death, long before I write it. I see the situations long before I type Chapter One. I feel the character’s loves, hates, desires and fears long before I commit them to words. In fact, I once went at a story like a buzz saw. Zipping out page after page, fueled by an incipient scene and a few fragments of dialog. I was going to beat the band.
But then the Author had a problem. I went too fast, went tactical too early. I ran out of motivation. My motivation, once I encapsulated the dynamics of the story that had fueled me, was out and now committed to prose, I stopped.
Couldn’t write. Didn’t want to.
Found every excuse not to. Then it hit me. My writer stopped because my author didn’t fully create the story. Without authoring there could be no writing. So there you have it, the dilithium crystal (Star Trek reference) of my impulse-writing engine revealed. Ultimately my books may be good or they may suck, that is in the opinion of the reader and beyond my control, but my process is always hot, energetic, sexy, breathless and satisfying… as long as that f**king author (or I should say king author…me) does his job first!