It’s been an interesting week here at the casa, and interesting isn’t always good. Although Homefront is four chapters closer to completion, I added only around 9000 effective words to the manuscript.
Not to fret, says I. Plenty of time left. You’re (as I say to myself often) still about a third of the way through the book, still building tension and emotions, still adding complications and conflicts for the characters. Overall, I’m well on track to hit my deadline, and save the day.
But on review of my internal writo-meter, I am/was supposed to be 6000 words and two chapters past where I am right now LAST week. Coughy cough cough is not a good way to write, but it’s also no excuse. I spent three days on one chapter, moving steadily along to a satisfying conclusion, but not exactly the one I thought I’d be at. Today’s very emotional chapter is perfect, and exactly as I’d envisioned it. But as my only output for the day, it fell a few thousand words short of what I wanted to accomplish.
I use the term effective words above, because as I’ve mentioned before I do a bunch of scene blocking before I actually write. This process can be as simple as typing one sentence, or as involved as staging action sequences and predicting lines of dialogue. It takes a fair chunk of brain to keep everything straight, but once it’s down on “paper” I can use that brain much more efficiently.
So a yesterday morning when I knocked out a 1500 word synopsis of my overall plot, that was a good thing indeed. I had vague plans and plots in my head, visions of several heroic poses my protagonist was striking waiting to be word-painted into existence. But none of it was “real” in my imagination, and now it is. I can look at that synopsis when I do chapter reviews, and say to my writer self, “Writer Self, have you set up this element yet? Because it’s going to be important in a few scenes, and we should probably prepare the reader for that.”
Pedantic Editor Self asks a lot, but his personified heart is in the right place.
I surprised myself with the synopsis. I thought It was going to be a fairly straightforward document, but the amount of twisty turny bits that rushed through my fingers tells me that My original, revised and re-imagined versions of this book were Not Going To Work. The current path to awesome does, and I’m happy I got a creativity inducing text from my real editor to help speed things along.
On tap for next week, the end of Act I, and a very surprising turn of events for several characters we’ve come to know through other people’s eyes. My goal is to hit 50,000 effective words, but there’s this pesky celebrationy thing going on in the middle of the week that might sideline me a bit.
Plus, I’d really love to stop coughing. That would be great.
Until next time,