I’ve talked about the juice before in one of these blog posts from a while ago. Hemingway talks about the juice in his Paris Review interview. It’s basically that feeling you get when writing when everything starts flowing, you’re not feeling anxious about the work, and words seem to come out with ease.
Some days the juice starts to flow quick. Other times, you struggle all day to get it going. With writing daily and in greater word counts, the juice comes a little easier. Only a little though.
When it flows nicely you don’t want to stop writing. Sometimes you don’t stop, you push beyond the word limit and break through barriers with ease. Other times you get distracted and you lose your grasp on the juice.
Yesterday, I had the juice going from the start on a short fiction piece, and I didn’t want to stop writing. But for some reason I put down the laptop. It was late. I yawned. I was well past the word count. I gave myself the excuse to go to sleep.
Leaving the story and heading to bed, I knew things wouldn’t be the same the next day. And I was correct. I struggled to get the juice going. I got the word count in, but it was no easy task.
But there’s something bigger than the difficulty of hitting my personal word count goal. It’s a theory that may need to be it’s own topic for a different day.
I believe that the best stories are written in the shortest amount of time. I don’t mean rushing through and just writing haphazardly whatever comes to mind. I mean getting the juice going and writing in one mindset. Writing at your normal pace from start to finish.
Part of the reason I struggled tonight compared to yesterday, was that I couldn’t find the same tone as I had the night before. The characters felt different, the direction of the story seemed elusive.
If I had been able to complete the story draft in the same night, rather than over two or three nights, I’m convinced it would be a more cohesive story. It’s not an absolute truth, just a theory.
I don’t believe I’ve seen a theory where writing in a short period of time provides benefits to the story. There’s nothing directly mentioned that I can think of. Let me know if you’ve ever read anything on a similar topic.