It's like that a lot for me, I'll see an image in my head and like it and start writing around it, trying to figure out why and how it happened. That's part of the reason why, when I started writing, I started writing comics. Because my imagination tends to be visual. When I write prose, I'm therefore left trying to paint a picture in words of the crazy stuff I've already seen in detail in my head, and half the time (or more), I don't think I do it justice.
Anyway, there were a handful of touchstone visual pieces that I thought would make up the set pieces of "Crown of Pluto", and as I said, I got through the first of them today. God willing, it'll come out half as cool on the page as it looked to me in my mind's eye. A number hopefully interesting complications sprang to mind from the circumstances surrounding that first idea, and now that it's down, I can only hope that it works the way I think it could work, that the idea that I first fell in love with will make sense and be entertaining to others in the same way that it makes sense and is entertaining to me.
But that's the maddening thing about writing; that is, I think, what makes writers so neurotic. You just never know how other people are going to react to ideas that you really like. It's a frustratingly unpredictable thing, made worse in my specific case by the very real fact that a lot of the stuff that I personally thought was mediocre has been stuff to which others really connected. Meanwhile, many of my favorite ideas are either too convoluted for my readers, or they just aren't interesting.
Well. I'm roughly twenty-thousand words into "Crown of Pluto," and that's the end of Act I. By standard math, thought ought to make the story roughly eighty-thousand words total--or about as long as everything else in the book taken together. But I don't use standard plotting math all the time, I don't even use standard Three Act structure with any particular frequency, and at any rate, I may well cut that first part down in re-writing. So who knows how long the thing is actually going to go?
I told Sally that I'm going to write to the end of Chapter 7, give the whole thing a very brief once-over, and then we'll talk about what to keep and what to cut and how to bring the rest of the story off as a single, unified work. Here's hoping...
One of the secrets of a successful marriage? Find a woman who also understands scene and story structure.