Today is the 100th day I’ve been working on Forever and For Always.
I started this new manuscript on Christmas day, and just today I crossed the 40,000 word mark. That means I’m averaging about 400 words a day. At this pace, and if this novel ends at the typical 100,000 word mark, I should be finished right around September 1st.
Then the rewriting begins! ON THREE NOVELS SIMULTANEOUSLY. Why? Because they’re all interconnected:
- All You See is Light
- A Wild and Untamed Thing
- Forever and For Always
Being that is my favorite part of the process, I’m really looking forward to it. Let’s see how accurate a prediction this is … I’m actually hoping I finish sooner, as only 46 days ago I began the practice of writing for a solid hour a day.
While that doesn’t sound like much, the practice has actually increased my output because it’s a solid uninterrupted hour a day, every day.
DONE! DONE! DONE! DONE! DONE! DONE! DONE! DONE! DONE!
Another manuscript completed. I was working on this one in various forms off and on for about 10 freaking years.
Progress on the current manuscript is stalled because I’ve been promoted and am being relocated. I’m now a digital marketing manager at one of the top 50 “most innovative companies” as listed by Forbes (for the forth year in a row). So now my day job is filled with creativity and fun, and when I get home … I lack the energy to work on my fiction.
I’m okay with that, at least for the time being. My day job is rewarding enough. If someone offered a deal where I could give up my day job and write on my novels full time, I’d turn them down. Fiction writing is fun and all, but it’s not really that rewarding, and it’s a lonely process. There’s seldom if any immediate gratification to be had.
Day job: daily gratification. Constantly. And it pays really well.
I’ll continue plodding away on my current book, and I have two more I want to complete sometime within the next few years, and then… I’m good. I’m done.
At least that’s how I feel right now.
I’m well into the last quarter of this manuscript and it’s now time to mercilessly beat up on my main characters. It has to seem like there’s no way for the bad guy to lose.
No pain, no payoff.
I do have to say … writing three interconnected novels all at the same time is rather fun. In the later novels you get an inspiration that affects the other books, and since you haven’t published them yet, you can go in and make the appropriate changes … leaving all sorts of fun clues and foreshadowing that readers will scratch their heads at until they read the next book … and get that wonderful “Aha!” moment.
I also have to say that doing it without using something like Scrivener would have been rather difficult. Not impossible, but not as easy. You’d have to resort to the old fashion method of an entire wall of your abode used as a giant post-it note gallery, with yarn and pushpins to tie the various points together.
Come to think of it, that sounds like fun too.
I doubt my landlord would appreciate 10,000 push-pin holes in one of the main walls of my apartment, though.
It’s just after 9 PM and I’m staring at my manuscript while listening to rain pattering on some metal part of my chimney. It tinkles, clinks, and clunks.
I’ve reached a stopping point, and need to ponder something.
In this part of the story I need to figure out exactly what a Sasquatch village would be like. The problem is in my minds eye, I keep seeing the Ewok village from Star Wars.
That is not what I want.
These creatures — at least, in my story — have long ago learned to live in such harmony with nature that the need for developing any kind of technology was unnecessary. They are the true shaman of the forest. I’m thinking that they don’t even need fire.
Would they build shelters? Or would they would live in giant burrows? I don’t see them living in trees because they share a common ancestor with bears, not apes. But does that mean they would live like bears? Not necessarily — we don’t live like monkeys.
This is where I need to simply go to bed and let my brain process it overnight. Tomorrow morning I hope I’ll know exactly how a Sasquatch village needs to be.
The villain in my current manuscript is grandstanding.
I am hesitant about this, but in the case of this story, I think it works. Plus we’re all conditioned to evildoers grandstanding during times when they think they’ve won – it’s in every single Bond movie, every single Star Wars movie, and I could make the argument you see it in Indiana Jones as well.
I’ve never done it before, so it feels like cheating. It feels like the villain is going, “Here, I’m going to dump some plot points on you.” But … if the character is truly an egomaniac (hell bent on taking over the world) and he thinks he’s in the right – to him, he’s not the evil one – his twisted sense of self righteousness is going to make him gloat over his win. In this case, though, instead of grandstanding before throwing the hero into a pool of laser-guided sharks, he is explaining that he’s won, and why he’s won, and why he’s going to let the hero live, and what exactly he’ll do to the hero if the villain ever sets eyes on him again. It all fits perfectly with the character, and so…
I’m going to let him do it.
Do you ever let your villains grandstand?