Another brief update…

I have made it to 70,000 words on Princess of Shadows.  Many writers at this point would be seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, but my darkness is currently unrelieved– there is still a lot of ground Kathy and I have to cover before we sew up a draft.  My definition of a “draft” is when you can read the entire manuscript and see it as a comparatively coherent and complete narrative, without major breaks or jumps.  It’s okay if minor characters change names or motivations or gender midstream, or if there are inconsistencies in the logic of certain scenes– all that can be rectified in the second draft.  By this definition, I am still a long way from a first draft– perhaps as much as 60,000 words.  With the number of incidents and scenes I have in my head that I haven’t written, that could be a reasonable number. Or it could be more.

In the last few days on the Kindle author boards a certain very prolific author was boasting that they had written some ridiculous number of novels in the last twenty months or so– something like 16.  I believe him, he’s got the published works to prove it, and the sales, but personally I have never been able to work like that.  It takes me one to two years to write a novel from blank page to ready for submission.  Quite aside from holding a full-time job (and more than full-time– I was just told this week that I’m going to be working this Saturday, too), it takes me a long time to write the basic narrative, and then to tweak and straighten and resolve inconsistencies and problems.  I hope the effort shows, but it does make for long periods between completions.  Once again, bear with me.


PS– just in case anybody wants to look at my author’s page on Amazon without having to scroll down through all my posts, here it is again–

A quick update….

I’m now at 65,000 words, and I’m feeling better about some of the material I’m getting down. This weekend was a bust, though– between yard work yesterday and a massive headache last night I didn’t get much done.

One of the odd things about my writing process is that I have to spend thirty minutes to an hour doing other things on the computer (like playing Halo, or updating this blog) before I can commit to adding words to my current work in progress. It’s as if I have to make myself sneak up on actually facing the real work. More and more as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that writing is really a fearful thing– I have nudge myself into position to write. The one writing book I actually recommend to people is Ralph Keyes’ “The Courage to Write”, which discussed just that idea, that writing is frightening and the mastery and utilization of that fear can create great prose. It was an concept that profoundly changed how I thought about my writing.

Okay, I think I’ve gotten myself into the right frame of mind. I’m off to put Kathy into more tight situations. Later.