Blog No. 389
The majority of the work I’ve been doing over the last few weeks (basically since copies of Broadcast Wasteland were delivered to my house) has been working on the Invasion Novel. I’ve had good days and bad. I’ve had stretches of daily writing and days when I got caught up in other things or just watched youtube with the word document open, waiting for me to add to it. I had started the book either at the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019. My recollection is fuzzy and my record keeping (this blog) is not very organized. I know I started it when the first draft of The Neon Heart was done and I was giving it some time before starting the edits. But that was a false start. I have a document with a couple of chapters that started in the wrong place and didn’t work out the way I wanted.
After Neon Heart came out, I restarted the Invasion Novel in earnest. It was around May, 2019 and I had the whole summer to write it before I started the third novella in September. That was my plan, but I was still trying to figure out how to avoid my usual summer slump. Eventually, I put the novel on hold to write Broadcast, then I ran short of time for the edits and it was all a blurred rush. I had something like 50 000 words and was deeply unsure of what I had written. I was high on the work I’d managed to do on the first draft of the novella, though, so I dove in, trying to use my evenings the way I had struggled with for so long and had managed (with help) while writing the novella. Then the quarantine happened.
That was both a good and bad thing. It prevented me from going out to write and meeting up with friends. I prize those two simple things as among the best tools I have for writing productivity. On the other hand, I didn’t have much to do that would prevent me from sitting down and writing every day. Now, after a pretty good April writing alone, but while online with my writing crew, I am sitting at 80 000 words. I’m felling a little better about the story and writing, too.
Who knew that all it took was actually writing every day. (Or just about). I have a lot to deal with in the first section, but with some of the new stuff, I feel like I can manage it and the work will be worth it. There will be some cuts and rewrites that I’m not looking forward to, but the worst thing I can do now is think about that when the books isn’t even finished. I hope I can get to a satisfying conclusion somewhere over the 100 000 word mark. Maybe even 120 000. That would leave me a lot of room to butcher and clean the first section, and if I’m being honest, the weaker bits of what I’ve been writing since then.
Another good side effect of daily writing besides the climbing word count and the consistency of the story is that I’ve been better able to see the whole thing and pick out the path to the finish. I’ve even come up with a more solid conclusion than my usual vague ‘it ends when I get to x’ plotting. I’m still slower than I’d like to be, but practice makes perfect. I’m also finding that some days, just forcing myself to write can result in good material, while others are crappy and not worth the stress. Sure, I could/should write more each day, but I’m getting there. I could also try again later in the day if my first attempt is a bust, but since I’ve been sleeping so poorly at night (even when I get to bed at a reasonable time which is, to be honest, not as frequent as it should be) I’ve been sleeping in far too late and my days seem so short.
I’m working on it, but by the time I finish writing (or the attempt) I tend to make dinner, then after some relaxing with tv or games, it’s time to get ready for bed. Still. I’ve managed close to 30 000 words in around a month and that’s not nothing. I’m feeling better about the book and hope to get a first draft done in another month or so. Since I don’t plot heavily it’s hard to pin down how many more words till it’s done. Chances are I’ll still be home in that time, though, so I have no excuse to not keep at it. I’ll be pretty happy if I get a first draft done before I go back to the day job. Not that I have any way of knowing when that could be. In the mean time, I’ll focus on the Invasion novel. I don’t have anything better to do with the time.