Obstacle course…

So in the universe’s neverending quest to ensure that I never get this manuscript done, now I’VE been sick. I did manage to get a bit of work done yesterday but not as much as I’d like by any means.

I had a fairly unusual (for me) writing experience last week:  I found myself in a coffeeshop with a notebook in hand and some time to kill so I started making notes and I’m happy to say that I managed to figure quite a bit of what is going to happen ‘beyond the wall’. I was calling it thus because I could see a rather formidable wall looming in the distance – and not only was I not sure how I was going to deal with the wall itself, I also had no idea what I was going to find beyond it. Admittedly, I was still pretty discouraged when I actually hit said wall, but figuring out what happens after definitely helped me start finding the weak spots. A few days of bashing away at it (and being too ill to do much actual writing) means that I’ve now crumbled it some. I’m still not 100% sure how everything is going to tie together but I’m just trying to keep the words “first draft” in the forefront of my mind and remember that even if I have to write “segue this later” here and there, that’s fine for this stage.

Also, this book is looking like it is going to be very long – there’s going to have to be a lot of cutting come editing time. I was told to try to keep it at around 100K…my hope was to finish at about 120 and then do some cutting. Well, I’m sitting at 90K right now and it’s um, not going to be done in 10K.  I have some doubt it will be done in 30K. But again, first draft…right?

(Oh and I still have no idea how it’s going to actually end.  I’ve come to accept the fact that it is going to have to be part of a duet or trilogy but I have to find a good spot to finish where the story will still be self-contained enough).

And, as if I didn’t have enough distractions, a friend’s manuscript is sitting in a box on my couch at this very moment as well…


The only constant is change…

I know some time has passed since I last updated but, once again, that whole life thing.  Kid 1 got sick again (reason 847 why I hate winter) and Baby 2 continues to cause me to pass out at random intervals, while somehow also managing to get in the way of any sleep I might get, you know, at night.

Anyhow, after last week’s post about my fear that writing was becoming too much of a ‘chore’, I found the perfect way to reawaken my passion for it: keep me away from it for three days.  Between Kid 1 being sick, having a crazy amount of things to do over the weekend and Kid 1 starting to be home with me part-time, I didn’t get any writing done between Thursday morning and Tuesday morning.  Tuesday, I was in my chair the moment everyone was out the door and put in probably about seven solid hours of writing.

As I suspected, having Kid 1 being home during the day is going to change the whole dynamic.  Perhaps it will change again, once the novelty wears off for him, but we’ll see.  Monday was a write-off  (no pun intended), as he vied for my attention pretty much non-stop.  Yesterday I did manage to get some work done but it was painful, with interruptions every five minutes (generally to tell me such compelling news as what his transformers were doing now).  Had it not been a rather mundane little connecting-section, I probably wouldn’t have been able to do it at all.  As it was, it took at least three times longer than it might have otherwise.  R. insists that once he’s used to being home he’ll occasionally do his own thing and I can claim that time for writing.  I think that the best scenario would probably be if I could start getting up earlier and finishing my writing work before anyone else wakes up.  And, if I weren’t pregnant, I might even do that.  As it is, these days I have trouble staying awake for twelve consecutive hours during the day.

The book itself is going well.  It’s going to be long, as I suspected, but that’s what the intensive editing stage is for.  I’m trying to be selective about what parts I tell, but my need to share every single detail of what happens means that the wordcount is already quite high.  I’ve also made some detail changes in my mind so I’m now going slowly back through to do a light edit and writing down notes so I don’t wind up doing things like changing someone’s eye colour halfway through.

To add slightly to the pressure, I got an email from my writing teacher today – he wants me to submit a piece for class review by the end of February.  So I’d better have something chosen and polished up by then!

And for those of you keeping track at home, baby 2 is due in 6.5 weeks.  Just to add a bit of weight to that ‘slight pressure’.

PS: found notes for a short I’d planned on tackling last fall and never got around to.  And I’m pleased to say I still love the idea.  If I can figure out a solid enough ending (my trouble with ending short stories is why I’m a novelist) I might give it a shot soon and see what comes of it.