Fortnightly word count: 31,266 words
Average: 2,233 words per day… but if you exclude the four days in
Most productive day: Tuesday 6 May, 4,371 words
Least productive days: 2nd, 3rd and 4th of May, 0 words
Year-to-date: 343,085 words (17,571 words behind target)
I didn’t really think about writing while in
Being in the pessimistic mood I am today, I can’t resist observing that I have more self-belief when I’m not writing than when I am.
What’s got to me today? Numbers. And not the deficit. I’m beginning to harbour an affection for the burrowing worm. No. My problem is how large some of the numbers are getting. Like 61,000+ words expended on Novel B. Surely that’s something to be proud of, or at least encouraged by, right? Not when the definitive file is only 3,500 words long. This is about the seventh definitive file. Each time I start from some other point, some other angle. Each time it feels right. “This could be the one” (to quote my own characters from a wee story I should submit somewhere on the internet before I forget it exists). Speaking of forgetting, that’s one of my strengths as a writer/fool. I keep forgetting how far I actually got with my previous definitive versions (a.k.a. false starts). I opened one up today and was shocked to find it was 45 pages long. And there I was languishing on eleven.
I’ve struggled before, but never so prolifically. 61,000 words to get 3,500… it just doesn’t seem right.
I am working on too many things at once.
I am thinking too far ahead of myself too often.
I will regret writing with so much candour on this blog tomorrow.
Do you know what? I’m thinking of returning to Novel A. The last time I touched it was a 3 day spurt 20-22 Feb. And before that it was 18 Jan.
What is Novel A? It’s a complete rewrite, refocus, resetting of my MA thesis/novel written in 2006. It was about an indie rock band composed of four members, all of whom were opposed to becoming famous as it would destroy their credibility as musicians… but then something happens to each individual band member and they need to become famous to achieve something in their private lives. A comedy of cross purposes, a satire of musical affectation, a cautionary tale about seeking the limelight.
It had its upside. But it had its downsides. I look back now and I can see I didn’t quite know what I was writing. Or: I couldn’t decide which of four books to write so I wrote all four of them as one. Even as I tried to rewrite Novel A in Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb I think I was still muddled by the possibilities. I wasn’t ruthless enough.
I am prepared to be ruthless today.
The only problem is, I’m not sure what will be left when I’m finished sluffing the deadskin, and what I will be able to add that is new.
But I look at the some of the scenes and characters I had in previous drafts of Novel A and compare them to Novel B (which is better written, but you’d hope so when every for every word there are twenty discarded ones) and think: this is the stuff I love to read. Novel B is the stuff I like to read.
The like/love distinction. The number of false starts. The three-weekly crisis of confidence.
It’s all telling me something.
Why I need to share this, I don’t know.
Perhaps I’m just doing this to add suspense to next week’s status report.
Will he or won’t he work on Novel A?
If only creating a climax in fiction were as easy as making a pie chart…