Science is weird.
There’s an entire theory about how the universe favors chaos over order, abstractly—the exact opposite of how some of us (cough cough) prefer to steer our own lives in said universe.
Entropy has unintentionally become a motif throughout the still-less-than 30,000 words that make up the most current draft of my novel. (By the way—my 30,000-word-slump theory? Still going strong.) However, my characters view the concept a bit differently than a chemist or physicist might.
As a writer will often do, I have taken a scientific theory and twisted it to coincide with the plot. Which I can do, because the book is set in the future and theories change shape over time IRL.
There is a character, we’ll call him a psychologist though it doesn’t mean quite the same thing in this context. He has a theory about behavior—specifically that the reason people act out and misbehave is because what people thrive on to sustain themselves isn’t order at all, but instead, disorder.
Which would explain why Character Q is in a detention facility but has dedicated his life to helping other people. Why the one former leader of their society, best known for her faults, has impacted the course of the political system more than anyone before her.
The book as a whole has three parts: order, chaos and oblivion.
I’ve worked my way well through Order and have mapped out most of Oblivion. It’s Chaos that’s making this project … well. Chaotic.
It doesn’t help that my to-do list feels chaotic, even though it really isn’t, and I haven’t been putting as much time into writing as I would have liked to over the past week. I don’t just post #WriterProblems for the fun of it, you know. I have them too. Sometimes I try to prioritize and novel-ing just doesn’t make it close enough to the top of the stack.
The thing about my 30,000-word slump theory (that when you’re writing, Wrimo or not, you hit a wall around 30,000 words—it happens to me every time, I wish I were exaggerating) is that it’s almost like the very top of the world’s largest roller coaster. Once you make it past that point, you can potentially knock out 20,000 more words in a week without really trying.
It’s not a real theory. I’m only going off my own experiences, but give a shout-out (comment) if you’ve ever experienced this. I hope I’m not the only one.
That sudden rush of thoughts and ideas and words, that’s the only kind of chaos I can handle. It’s the kind of chaos you can barely even call chaos, because it’s so thrilling and freeing and wild, you can’t help but just run with it.
This would be the worst possible time for this kind of thing to happen to me. I have an exam next week and other commitments I need to be ready to tackle, and while I can continue to make sure I write at least a little every day, I can’t guarantee to myself that I’ll be able to write thousands of words per day until after next Wednesday.
Yet I yearn for it. That chaos. That moment my ideas and my words are in sync and I don’t have to think, I just have to write.
Maybe it’s not science that’s weird. Maybe it’s just our brains.
I suppose, if good stories are the product of weirdness, I shouldn’t complain.
Image courtesy of Novelty Revisions.
A recent graduate with a B.A. in English and a completed major in nutrition, currently seeking a graduate degree in health communication, Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and dietetics. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist and Grammar Nazi (and the mastermind behind this site), Meg is an editor for College Lifestyles magazine and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has written several creative pieces for Teen Ink magazine. Follow Meg on Twitter.