Monday, October 15, 2007

Progress finally

The Waterways Novel

30,214 / 80,000 words. 38% done!

So, I've crossed my second stop sign where I'm allowing myself to talk a bit about the novel-in-progress. For those playing at home, the rest stops are at these marks: 15K, 30K, 45K, 60K, 75K, and then whenever the irascible thing is dead and done.

That said, I am at the point where I think everything I've written is crap. My characters are whiny and meandering passive souls that make me wonder what I'm trying to do here. Bits of the city are interesting--to me, of course--while others don't feel quite natural. Useless secondary characters pop up like poles; I suspect some killing of them later on. A post today on Neil Gaiman's blog made me feel a tad better about the whole thing, and here is where I pause to quote a master:

You don't live there always when you write. Mostly it's a long hard walk. Sometimes it's a trudge through fog and you're scared you've lost your way and can't remember why you set out in the first place.

But sometimes you fly, and that pays for everything.

Right. So it's foggy here at the moment, and only about 500 words back did I realize something that I want to implement but will have to wait for the rewrite. So I made a note. I find myself making a lot of notes, both in the manuscript and on miscellaneous scraps of paper. My Word file is littered with [name] and [action scene] and [dirty stuff]. Keeping these things together and organized is like juggling sunburned babies. But really, having turned my editor off in me, I find myself at least moving forward. That's pretty important when it comes to such a big project. You can't edit what you don't finish.

I don't work on this every day though. Seeing that NaNoWriMo is coming up soon, I'll probably be even more turned off to work on it daily. I tried that before, and while I got words out it wasn't good. I struggle with being somewhat of a perfectionist, and when I write I'd like the first draft to be more solid than not. I'm not opposed to re-writing this sucker once it's finished, but I'd like for a lot of it to be minimal touchups. You know, the cosmetics.

Oh, and now I need to figure out how to get a certain dead fellow out of the water and upland so he can cause some trouble. Thinking, thinking, thinking. Well, that's it for now, really. See you at 45K, people. Remember: you can't edit what you don't finish.

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