Original Goals

Blog No. 191

I’m tired today—unbelievably tired. I haven’t felt this exhausted in a long time. I can’t even remember when I was this wiped out. It’s not like I did anything extraordinary. I have had a few nights that went later than usual (some my fault, a few definitely not) thought that’s not terribly unusual. Perhaps the number of night in a row has become abnormal, but they really weren’t so late. The heat has affected my sleeping, and I have been sleeping poorly on top of that (for reasons I’m not allowed to know apparently). There seems to be no end in sight (for either the lack of sleep, or today, which is dragging like one of those dredges, or maybe an anchor). I’m not sure what that has to do with anything other than it’s the most prominent thing in my life today. When you’re tired, everything else seems to fade a bit. The amount of red squiggly lines I’ve had to go back and correct is absurd.

I suppose the fatigue has been a bit of an influence with my lack of writing, though it’s an ailment I suffer from commonly. That is to say, I’ve been slacking off again and it’s nothing new. I have had some important things that have come up and need my time and attention, so some of it is reasonable. I find it so difficult to get to writing when I’m not in the swing of it, even if I have to skip or stop for reasonable reasons. I struggle to get over the hump. That’s where I am at the moment, and because of that, I am sitting just shy of the original word count goal for Pilot. I may be three (or four) months over when I expected to get there, and I do have a big chunk to go, but I’m there.

I’m at 39 000 words and have two events left to write about. It’s becoming more likely that I’m going to end up with a short novel (quite short) rather than a novella. I’ve read many different definitions on what constitutes a shot story, novelette, novella, and a novel. There is a lot of contradiction and some of it doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s a topic I often discuss with other writers, especially the Adventure Worlds crew. Personally I think a novelette is a thing that only exists if you say it does. I find a short story can go anywhere from 500 to 12 000 words (or so). Anything below that is flash fiction, or whatever. There are like six more categories down there. Anything above that can be considered a novella. (My categories are rather big). I suppose, if you publish a story (or specifically put it in a book or make it an ebook) I’d say a novelette could overlap and go from 10 000 to 20 000, but that’s all hypothetical stuff for now. A novella can shoot all the way up to the 40 000 to 60 000 words (starting at that low 10 000 region) and overlap with a novel. Novels are tricky things because that’s where you enter the realm of real writing. Most people will tell you a novel has to be at least 90 000 words and isn’t really a novel unless it’s over 120 000. I strongly disagree. I think there should be a category beyond that called super novels (cause that’s getting big).

I’m getting way off track, but my point is—what happened to those great old short books. There is nothing wrong with a quick book that you can cruise through in a couple days. 60 000 words is good enough for a novel in my book, and that’s about where I’m likely to end up. Though at this pace, I’ll be done around Christmas. Though, this time is the one. I’m going to buckle down (again) and get back to my regular writing. I’ll be done that last chunk by the end of August and have a second draft in September. I think. We’ll see. I’d better get back to it.

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