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10 and 2

No, this is not about where you're told to put your hands on the steering wheel (though I've seen reports on the news recommending 8 and 4 to relieve arm strain). The numbers refer to what I've mostly written about here during the Novel In 90 run -- my rewrite of Fallen. Ten days left until Easter and 2 days left until my Novel In 90 time period ends. Two days for the latter because I started the Monday after the majority because I was finishing my short story "Sacrifices" at the time.

The event was a success since I met its goal and it put my mind into a workable groove. And that's what it all comes down to anyway, right? Not everyone is lucky enough to write for a living. And I intentionally use "lucky" because I don't believe someone who sits down for hours upon hours, writing and rewriting, does it because they hate it. Sure, I could make a case for someone pathologically driven to write who hates it. Anything is possible. But I'm sure it's safe to say that the writers I know like what they do.

We are all mothers and fathers.

So I've found a groove that runs as low as a page on some days (when I'm under the weather or working the night shift, such as yesterday) or runs as high as a page count somewhere in the mid-teens. My natural novel length seems to sit a little north of 500 pages, and my abilities are rising to the point where I can reach that total in about 100 days. Call in a Novel in 90+. Which still works out to three novels a year, or a novel and a rewrite a year, with time left over for shorter works.

I remember reading an afterword in one of Piers Anthony's Xanth novels where he described his writing process: first draft in longhand; second on the computer; final rewrite on the computer. And he juggled all at the same time. I've seen similar reports of juggling here by matociquala, tobiasbuckell, mizkit, cmpriest, and autopope. Part of me wants to cringe at the deadlines, part of me welcomes the pressure. Sure, this is fun, but it's a job, too. A job we love.

So the NIN worked -- because it made me work.

Am I worried I've only 2-3 days left in Novel In 90? No.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
97,250 / 67,500
(144.1%)


That's 390 pages in 88 days. I'll top 400 today and probably come close to 425 before I make my final report Sunday evening.

Am I worried I've only 10 days left in my personal deadline on Easter Sunday? No, not really.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
97,250 / 125,000
(77.8%)


I'm averaging 10-12 pages a day, and I've 80 pages of old material left in the rewrite. I expect another 30-40 pages of new material is necessary to see me through to the end. But that's a guess. I won't know until I get there, which is why goal's fluctuated.

I started out telling myself: hold nothing back. I believe I've kept true to that. I'm happy with what I'm doing now, and with what I started out with. The book needed a rewrite. What book doesn't? I know I can throw on a layer of varnish and paint, but that's just tinkering. The book is real now, with flesh and bones and a beating heart. I am Victor Frankenstein once more, father to a thing that would not exist without my intervention. It's mother is my muse, a fickle thing herself that only responds when I pay attention to her.

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