In other news, I finally found a way into "The Radioactive Etiquette Book." So I can write that. So that's good. I thought I had a way in severalmany weeks ago when I did a title survey, and I got in the shower and thought of how the words might feel, and then when I got out of the shower the phone rang, and the Person from Politics (I know it's traditionally Porlock, but this is an election year here) derailed my thinking about it, and when I got back to it, the way in was gone like snow in the back of your wardrobe. I wrote two separate false pages of it, and they were wrong and sounded hollow. They were pages of prose from someone who is reasonably competent at making prose and has no reason whatever to make this prose.
I don't mean that I didn't have a plot. I can make up a plot; that's what we do around here. We say "what if he wanted to go home and couldn't get there" or "she's trying to figure this thing out and here's what she doesn't know" or what have you, and there you go, onwards, plot, hurrah. It's the feel of the prose itself. Stories are not made of plot, they're made of words (or notes or pictures or what have you, but the ones I do are words). I can sound completely sensible about how a story is going to go, who is going to do what in it and why, but if I can't write you at least a couple of consecutive paragraphs of it, I don't really know how the story is going to go. Voice, mode, whatever you want to call it, all I know is that if it's not there, I might as well open another file and write something else. There are several stories fully outlined with all sorts of touchstones noted in, but nobody's talking, so there they sit outlined, and may sit forever for all I know.
Anyway, it's there now, which is good, because it's all very well to say I might as well open another file and write something else, but I wanted to write this. So okay then.