Really quick update before I start work.
I’ve spent the last two and a half weeks fighting off a bug. It got ugly, there were antibiotics eventually. I kept plugging away at writing. I’ve been mostly snatching time at lunch at work.
The words have not been coming well. I think part of it is an uncertainty of how to get from where I am to the end I have in mind. Which may be part of the problem. The goal of this book was to let my muse have full reign (rein?), but instead I’ve been trying to work towards a specific end at this point.
Another part of it is wondering if I’m taking this in the right direction. When I drew up to 50K, I came to realize that I had merely written a first act and that I needed to wrap it up with a second act. But the second act is a very different beast from the first act. I’ve mulled around ideas like being loose with the timeline, so that the second act is interwoven with the first act. But some of it could get really confusing.
The other option, which I’ve infrequently considered, is splitting it up into more than one book. Currently no single part is big enough to stand alone as a novel. But I could conceivably flesh out the first act and then draw out my current “second act” so that it could be a series of novels. I’m not sure if I want to do that. I don’t want to become the next George RR Martin…
I think, overall, my doubt is becoming overwhelming. I know of at least one person I could probably get a brutally honest opinion from, but I’m not sure I want to open that bag.
So, the weekend wasn’t a great success. I got some writing done at lunch, but the evening got swallowed by moving related activities. Saturday morning started off much earlier than I’d previously realized, so I didn’t get any writing done. I was utterly exhausted from moving furniture by the end, so no writing there either. Not getting any writing done also meant no game prep getting completed. So what time I had on Sunday was spent prepping for the game that I ran that day. After the game I was basically an exhausted lump. Monday I finally called in sick. I’ve been fighting off some bug for the last week and the girlfriend finally got me to see the doctor. I could have written during the day, but instead spent most of my day playing Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. I’ve been fiending for some hot lightsaber action, and got sucked right in. But I did get some writing in last night, probably around 1500 words, while the girlfriend was playing Rock Band. So, not an utter waste.
I’ve been tracking my word count in a Google Docs spreadsheet. I made a chart. I set the top of it at 90,000 words. I saw how much I had to go before I was “done.” And then I cried a little bit.
I worry on a certain level that I’m not interested in the course the novel has taken. Or it could be I’m just feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Did okay yesterday. Got a good chunk written at lunch at work. At the type and gripe we did a 10 minute “sprint” to try and plow through some writing, but I sadly spent most of the rest of the time screwing around.
The girlfriend talked me out of giving up the gym at lunch enitrely, since I really do need the exercise. Even with my commitment to write more, I can’t dodge the fact that I’m overweight and at risk for diabetes, so cutting out the little exercise I get is a bad idea. The compromise is that I’m going to hit the gym 3 days a week and write at lunch the other two. We’ll see how that works.
Yesterday wasn’t very productive. I was working on the laptop at the girlfriend’s apartment while she was packing stuff up for the move. Didn’t get as much written. Better than last Friday at the apartment, but still not great. I’m not sure if it was the record high temperature making me uninterested in having a hot laptop on my lap or if it was just writing in a distracting environment. I’m inclined to the former.
Last night worked out pretty well. In spite of the heat and an appointment early in the evening, I got home and banged out over 900 words. If I can manage this 5 days a week, I may finish in a month!
Huh. That’s not exactly encouraging.
Well, not as much writing accomplished as planned.
Friday I got horribly distracted by my shiny new iPhone. Got some writing done, but nothing spectacular.
Saturday was meant to be a writing day, but most of it got sucked up in “girlfriend moving in chores.” Moving my stuff out of my old storage unit into the new one took very little time. But then we drafted people into helping organize my unsorted comic books from the last year or two. That night I had the choice between writing or spending quality time with the girlfriend watching a movie. I opted to go with the quality time.
Sunday was just hosed from the moment I got up, and I hadn’t planned on trying to write. There was the hope of getting some writing done in the evening, but between the laptop deciding to misbehave on me and having to have an emergency logistics discussion with the girlfriend, the evening ended up being a waste.
Even when I have been writing, it’s been like slogging through mud. The more Red King portions of Court of the Red King flow pretty well, but the protagonists are harder to write. Hopefully this doesn’t make me a villain in a Gato Loco novel.
Not much to report. As anticipated, the company dinner I went to basically filled up my whole evening and we went to bed right away. Tonight, though, looks promising.
I’m blowing the dust off of this blog to use it as a way to keep on track of my writing. I did NaNoWriMo last November and got in something over 50,000 words. In the eight months since then, I’ve gotten in something like 9,000. I haven’t entirely slacked off on writing, which in some ways is the problem. For five of those months I was focusing more on writing short stories for Crossed Genres than the novel. After I got one published with them, I was jazzed to have a market and would try to squeeze something out every time they revealed their new genre.
My recurring analogy is Walter Mosley’s comparison between writing and “gathering smoke.” Writing is a delicate thing, and easily lost if you don’t cultivate it every day. Eight months of barely pecking away at this year’s novel (The Court of the Red King) has left me feeling like I’m trying to cozy up to a stranger.
My goal is to finish the novel before November, hopefully with enough time to make at least one pass through for a first round of revision. I’m estimating that it will weigh in at 80-100,000. Each day, behind a cut, I’ll post my current word count, a forecast on when I can squeeze in writing and also reflect on how I failed to get writing done. It may end up being tedious. You’ve been warned.