Thursday, August 9, 2012

So, six days into the great novella-writing quest, I'm feeling good about the progress.

Like a caffeinated chimp at a typewriter I've managed to bang out over 11,000 words so far--with a minimum of 17,500 expected. True, I have not quite made the 2000-words-per-day goal, but quality over quantity, right? And yes, that thing called a job that I have, it does interfere now and again.

As I noted in the last post, I don't really work with an outline. I have some scribbled notes, mainly because I'm writing at speed and won't have as much opportunity to go back and edit as I'd generally like. And also, I usually write short stories; with a smaller arc it's easier to keep track of everything in my head.

The remainder of the story has been roughed out in my mind; I know where I'm going, how I'm getting there, and pretty much when I'm going to arrive. And for me, a little vagary isn't a bad thing. So what if I don't know the exact details of the finale yet?  I've got a good idea of how many more words I'll require to tell the story--from experience, I can estimate that based on the number of scenes, and how long they'll be, and what's going on ... and then I can add maybe 2000 words on top of that guess. From experience.

Still, I'm pretty happy with the progress, and if I can keep up this rate of production, I'll be done this time next week (!). Amazing to think a chimp--properly caffeinated--can thrash a novella into existence in two weeks!

Since the last post, I thought maybe I'd like to add a 'reading list' to the end of my posts, to give an idea of not just what I'm up to, but also what I'm digesting at the moment. So, without further ado...

What I'm reading: Yes, I have given up on the book with the flaming horses and epicness, though I'm a little sad about that. Instead, it's been short stories by Louis L'Amour (they're all the exact same length), short stories in my first copy of Shimmer magazine (which is delightful and now I know why they named it Shimmer), and other random short fiction on web magazines. Oh, and copious amounts of research on Wikipedia relating to the topic of my novella. And an archaeology magazine, because I've got to stay on top of the latest developments in the neanderthal-as-artist debate.

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