Well I am quite chuffed that I managed to complete the 50,000 words in November. I gotta say I remember it being easier in 2009, although that may just the be rosy coloured glasses I’m wearing five years down the track.
And you know what, I’m pretty happy with what I produced. I haven’t read it yet so who knows if it’s really any good, there’s bits I know I need to develop, but overall, it’s a pretty good yarn.
I doubt I could have completed it on schedule without my weekend writing retreat at Cimarron – I knocked out more than 10,000 words in that weekend alone. At one point I had written half the word count in 20 days, leaving me just 10 days for the remaining half, it was looking dire.
I know I lost the sister at one point, she was important early on and then disappeared for like a third of the book, I hate when that happens in books I read. I also introduced a mother type figure, and I think my MC (main character) needs one in there, but I really didn’t flesh her out or give her very much to do. I can also ramp up the tension with another encounter with a grieving French mother.
But you know what, I’ve let it sit for almost a week now, and you know what keeps happening. The characters, they keep asking me to work it out, to finish creating them. I keep thinking about it.
The fabulousness that is Chuck Wendig who pours forth no holes barred writerly advice on his terrible minds blog had this to say (most of his excerpts would normally need the NSFW warning, but this is surprisingly expletive free):
Take some time away from the story. Just walk away. Cool and calm like an action hero strolling out of an exploding building. Hide it. Forget it. It’s not a thing that happened. It was a fever dream, poorly-remembered. And here’s where your brain will do insidious things because the brain is an insidious organ –
If you keep thinking about it even though you know you’re not supposed to? Then maybe you have something there. If you put it away and the memory of the thing slides through your fingers like so much dream-sand, hey, that’s okay, too. Maybe this one isn’t the one.
But if it is? Then it’s time to get to work. And the work always begins up here –
*taps center of forehead, which squeaks open on a rusty hinge so a squirrel can poke out, chitter at you, steal your bagel and coffee, then return to its nest inside the skull*
And so here I am, opening the file up again, and reading it, my first aim I think is to do a general typo fix and good god that sentence is ridiculous edit. Once I’ve actually read the whole thing I’m hoping I’ll have a better idea of what actually needs proper wrangling.
Final word count for the book, all written in November: 50,324. Phew!