The Fine Balance in Growth

What could possibly threaten something of your size?”

“My size.”

“Yes, frej, of your size. Surely there is no predator larger than you?”

Lindorm turned his head from side to side, hungry to speak, but wondering how he dared. This would be used against him.

“Every lindorm continues to grow all his life,” he whispered, hoping she was the only one to hear. “If the creature is foolish enough to stay on land his own weight will crush the life out of him.”


The  life-cycle of the Lindorm (limbless dragon, or giant snake, for those of you just joining the story) has an awkward twist, in that here is a creature that is a terror both on land and in the water.  Best as I can piece together, the females must navigate as far up the rivers as their bulk will allow them to travel, and leave their offspring on the shores to disseminate into the nearby terrain.

Ostensibly this will give them a better chance of survival, considering the always-increasing size of the long-lived water lindorm.

But being the brilliant, master-predators that they are on land, how do you get them back in the water, where the average human will have less of a chance to run into them? (This is the challenge of the cryptozoologist– to explain both the unlikely creatures plausible existence, and why they’re not seen more clearly or frequently.) Well, you have my lindorm’s explanation there above: as the mass of the monster increases, so does the strain of living on land.

Some instinct, therefore, calls him to the water.

But too soon, and the young lindorm will become Chiclets for the established sea creatures.

So this keeps the population in check, but also shows why the ones that remain are the cleverest (in a definitely-creepy way) of the species.

So why am I thinking of this just now?

Well, I’m approximately one week away from returning to my novel, and shooting to have it submittable by the end of the year.

I was running the numbers:

  • 52 scenes
  • maybe three of those still need to be written for this version
  • Most of them need to be brought up to the current 2-POVs version
    • Being down to 2 POVs is a huge blessing in terms of focusing the story, but it does necessitate a corresponding narrowing and updating of the story.
  • There are 79 (full) days of school before Christmas break, so I have hope that taking the math seriously I can update the straightforward stuff quickly and use the balance of time for the more demanding stuff.
    • That assumes that the rest of life cooperates, of course. I’ll keep you posted.

All of this I think is possible in the one semester if I can get my head in the game, and (frankly) focus on finishing on instinct.

The instinct part is important since the whole exercise has been seat-of-the-pants (with the overall structure of the original tale), and every time I try to shift this into a more specific structure than *parts* I freeze up and/or rework stuff that’s already effective rather than pressing to the sticky places.

The Lindorm analogy comes into my view of the writing when I have to see it as important (because why else should I spend time on it?) but not so important that it’s to heavy for me to carry.

That is, when the *importance* of it becomes the unbearable weight that immobilizes me and renders me ineffective.

This needing to get into the ocean if it’s going to weigh more– Seeing the weight of writing as potentially dangerous–  made me think of a post I wrote almost 4½ years ago.

I got a little shiver thinking about how it was that long ago I used moving to the water as the metaphor of entering into seriously writing.

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