What’s slowing you down?

“Hey, Teel! I noticed your rate of novel-writing has slowed down in the last few hours. Is it because it’s so late?”

“No, I’m high in caffeine. It seems to be keeping my hands typing as fast as they know how, and my creativity is way up, too!”

“So what’s slowing you down? You haven’t even written 10,000 words tonight. You’ve barely written over 7,000 words, and you’ve been working for the last eight hours straight! You keep saying you can type 1,000-2,000 words an hour, you should have at least 8,000 words done, and up to 16,000, right?”

“Well, my characters came to a city I invented that I had to research for a while on the internet, and -“

“Wait, that doesn’t make sense. If you were just making the city up, there was no need to look online for information you’d imagined anyway!”

“I know that. Anyway, that and posting about that took about a half an hour. Then when I got back to the story, I find out that the characters are in a city where a different alphabet is used, and the city is layed out in a way that I had to draw a color-coded map for myself to understand it. Then the mayor of the city was trying to explain it all to my main characters, only one of which knows this other alphabet. Which meant that the other character, Tink, couldn’t read any of the signs or really make much sense of the explanation of the layout of the city.”

“So, there’s a cultural block slowing misunderstanding for the character. What does that have to do with you writing slower?”

“I know both alphabets, but I type much slower in the one they use in this new city. So I was having to switch back and forth between fonts and alphabets to express things the Mayor was saying and the labels on the map, and it was slowing me down. Take a look at what part of a sample paragraph from this section looks like:”

Stupid phonetic alphabet!

“You know you’re crazy, right? You could have just said the stuff was in another alphabet and simpy described Tink’s confusion. You didn’t need to actually invent another alphabet and start typing in it.”

“I didn’t invent the alphabet. It was invented something like a hundred years ago to honor George Bernard Shaw. I don’t know how the residents of Skythia got ahold of it as their standard alphabet, but I’m sure the Mayor will explain it soon.”

“Crazy. You realize you’re typing out a conversation with yourself, right. There’s no one else here.”

“I also realize that I’m about to go try to sleep for a couple of hours, pumped full of caffeine.”


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Author, artist, romantic, insomniac, exorcist, creative visionary, lover, and all-around-crazy-person.