After a dragging myself through a bit of a writing slough last night – busy all day and then utterly drained by the time I sat down at my keyboard – today went remarkably well. I set my normal wordcount of 2500 for a non-kid day and had upped it to 2600 to make up for the fact that half of last night’s work was actually rework. By noon I had hit 3600. I’ve reached a part that I really like, so rewriting it in the new style came very easily. The subsequent few sections should follow a similar pattern, and then I’m going to reach a point where the piece will have to diverge into something completely new; and I’m quite looking forward to getting there. As such, I predict that this will be a productive week…I hope I’m right!
Getting all of that done by noon meant that I felt absolutely no guilt about (finally!) ripping open my copy of Carol Berg’s Daemon Prism when it (finally!) arrived and (finally!) devouring the first chunk of it. (I’ve been waiting for this one for a while, in case you couldn’t tell). And thus I lost myself in the bliss of a truly enjoyable book…at least until the prevalent sunbeam on the sofa (and third trimester exhaustion) knocked me out. Though I’ve only just started it, I’m as thoroughly impressed as ever. Carol is, as always, an inspiration.
Finally, last night I dreamt that I went to another Algonkian conference. And while I would certainly
go through it attend another one, such did not make for a restful night. However, perhaps said dreams had something to do with today’s productivity. Hmmm.
In the end, I did commit to two full days of outlining and note-taking. The process was uncomfortable; I didn’t like it, especially as it brazenly pointed out many places where I could – and likely will – get stuck. But I held out. Pages and pages of notes (tree-paper and on-screen) later, I had to admit that some of the very things that made the process so unpleasant were quite valuable. Scenes that resurfaced every time I sat down to take another crack at it weren’t merely repetitive; they were asserting themselves as sections that I obviously (at least for the moment) consider significant. The ‘red notes’ threw me off as well…I had some difficulty in allowing myself to start writing with so many areas where I already know there will be issue, where I’m already seeing the bottlenecks and complications. That being said, having such scenes called out has already proven effective. Knowing that the issues are there (looming in the distance :P) means that my brain can chisel away at the problem before I ever get to it. Already some of the more severe blockages have been broken down into more manageable chunks.
And so, with some misgivings, I re-started. And I am truly startled by how well it is going. As I suspected, MS2 is fitting much better into the genre. But I’m not just trying to shove MS2 into this new genre. I read over what I had happening next and take what I need from MS2. If it doesn’t work, I just rewrite something completely new. On day 1 and 2, I gave myself a quota of 2500 words each…on day 1 I blew off 3700 words and day 2, 2800. Even today, with only a quota of 1000, I managed 1200.
Reading it over, I am so much happier with how this version sounds and flows. The characters feel like they belong in this story, as opposed to my previous attempt to shove the MS1 characters into a tale with new names and hair colours. I haven’t bothered to change any names or appearances this time. Ms2 is simply turning into MS3 and these characters belong here. And, perhaps most importantly, I’m enjoying the actual writing much more, which makes it far easier to keep up a high wordcount pace.