And there you have it. As predicted, I took the first scene out of chapter 15 and finished it up with a sappy love scene, a scene that I hope will not make me gag when I go to edit it. The first draft of my second novel is now complete at 75,478 words. It’s shorter than the first draft of my first novel was, but on the other hand, it needs a lot more fixing. But let’s worry about that later; for now, it’s done. 19 months ago
How I did it: My first step was to get a line of credit and transfer all my credit
card debt onto it, because the interest on a line of credit is usually a
lot lower than a credit card. Then, because I like using Excel charts, I
made one that tracks my projected bank account, showing all the money
coming in to my account, and all the regular payments that have to come
out. It looks just like the bank statement I get online, but it's for
the future! And then I figured out how much I could take out every week
without ever having my bank balance go into negative numbers (because my
bank takes a service charge for that). And then every week I took that
money and put it onto my line of credit. Plus I had a separate chart
that showed what my debt was, how much less it would be every week when I
made my payment, and when it would be gone. I liked to look at that and
dream about when I would be debt-free. Now I put that weekly amount
into my savings account, and I still use my Excel charts, but now I use
then to track how much money I have saved! Read how I did it… 6 months ago
How I did it: My first step was to get a line of credit and transfer all my credit card debt onto it, because the interest on a line of credit is usually a lot lower than a credit card. Then, because I like using Excel charts, I made one that tracks my projected bank account, showing all the money coming in to my account, and all the regular payments that have to come out. It looks just like the bank statement I get online, but it's for the future! And then I figured out how much I could take out every week without ever having my bank balance go into negative numbers (because my bank takes a service charge for that). And then every week I took that money and put it onto my line of credit. Plus I had a separate chart that showed what my debt was, how much less it would be every week when I made my payment, and when it would be gone. I liked to look at that and dream about when I would be debt-free. Now I put that weekly amount into my savings account, and I still use my Excel charts, but now I use then to track how much money I have saved! Read how I did it… 6 months ago
Finally, FINALLY, the story has gained momentum, this close to the end. I suspect the first thing I I will be doing in tomorrow’s writing session is taking out the first scene from chapter 15, which is about 350 words, but I’ll do that tomorrow. And then I’ll add about 350 words to the end of the chapter, which should just about do it. But assuming the momentum isn’t lost, it should just rocket along. And then it’ll be done. Finally. That is to say, the first draft. And then I just need to add another 5,000 words in the editing process. 19 months ago
Very depressed about how this is working out. Can’t help but feel that the novel is terrible, I have no talent, and, somehow, the words of Ira Glass are not making me feel better. And yet I still wrote 500 words today. Someday this will either be an object lesson on persevering despite depression and self-doubt, or it will be proof that I’m a delusional doofus. Only time will tell. 19 months ago
That was terrible. Before I even started, I procrastinated by doing dishes, for god’s sake. I didn’t start until 8:30 and I didn’t finish until 10:00. I feel that I’ve run out of talent (again), that I’m drawing out the last chapter for no reason, and even the pretty wine didn’t help. I think maybe I should just wrap up this chapter as soon as possible, so I can concentrate on going back and adding in all the things I’m going to have to add in order for the book to make sense. But for right now, I’m going to bed. 19 months ago
Went out to dinner with husband and a friend, but early enough so that I could come home and write after dinner. I didn’t want to, but I am being very dedicated. Also, I’ve run out of talent.
Content: two guys playing horse in the graveyard, boogety, boogety 19 months ago
I’ve missed more than one post lately, because my computer and the Internet haven’t been getting along, so I’m not going to explain that a new word count of +1,000 means a missed post, just assume. Today is Victoria Day and I wrote both today and yesterday, which makes me very proud of myself. Today I decided to drink heavily before and during the writing; for a change, alcohol hasn’t made the writing go faster. It’s been going as smoothly as the drunk writing usually goes, but I think I’ve been at this for two and a half hours now, so not faster. Of course, there has been a certain amount of looking for sad music, watching Eponine die and Troy get together with Lainie, crying, and eating chipotle ranch potato chips, so still procrastination, but of a refreshingly different type.
Content: scenes of Bob prepping for being Romeo 19 months ago
A lot of procrastination and wailing about how the book does not write itself. I hope this gets easier someday.
Content: slaughtered by zombies 19 months ago
It’s a good thing it’s cold for the balcony, which lead me to start writing early, because that took an hour and a half. Sometimes it’s like shitting a brick.
Content: enter Mr. Crossroads 19 months ago
Hoo-hoo, was there a lot of procrastinating tonight! I came in from the balcony promptly at 8:00, like a good little writer, and spent so much time alternating writing with mucking about on the internet that it’s now 10:00, a full hour later than I aim to be finished. But that’s probably because my husband isn’t home, waiting patiently to watch TV with me when I’m finished writing.
Content: zombies are trying to get into the temple 19 months ago
Sat out on the balcony until 8:00, although not because it was nice (it was actually getting a little chilly as the sun’s rays became less direct) but because I was skimming through my George R.R. Martin books. However, I seem to have completed my 500 words, in a tricky scene no less, in reasonably good order.
Content: Chay 19 months ago
The nice weather and long hours of sunlight are making this harder, but I came in from the balcony sometime between 7:30 and 8:00 and, after not more than the usual amount of procrastination, rattled off the requisite 500 words in reasonably brisk fashion. And now it’s time for Game of Thrones.
Content: Silvain and Barbara arrive in the temple 19 months ago
Finished up the scene I started last night and then continued working on chapter 14, which is in the middle of the final showdown with the big bad. Not as hard as it has been recently, but not easy, either. However, my husband went out while I was writing, and I suspect that, now that I’m finished, I get ice cream. 19 months ago
My husband went to play board games tonight, and as he was heading out, I asked him not to leave me alone with the writing. It scares me, I said. He said many encouraging things to cheer me up and bolster my confidence. None of which actually worked, but I appreciate the effort. I moved Walking Corpses Anonymous to earlier in the novel, as per one of his suggestions, and then started a scene in chapter 11 where Bob acts as an arbiter between a woman and her zombie fiance. 19 months ago
Serious goddamned writer’s block on Tuesday. Only got 100 words done. And then Iron Man 3 on Thursday and a trip to Guelph with family on Sunday that was so exhausting, no writing was possible that night. I think I stared at the computer for a half an hour before I finally started tonight. This damn book has so many problems, I’m not even sure what they all are, let alone how to go about fixing them. So some new work on chapter 14, some additional work on chapter 4, 400 words finished and time for bed. 20 months ago
I did some writing at work today on my Jack Slade short story and was tempted to call that my word count, because I had an attack of depression, and wasn’t sure I’d be able to write. But I was only tempted for about a second. The word count is to keep me honest about getting the novel finished. Any other writing is gravy.
Content: Vernon takes Bob up on the hoist to show him the temple 20 months ago
I’m considering buying some sort of voice recognition software in an attempt to get a smoother transition between getting the words out of my head, where they’re alive and interesting, and onto the page, where they seem dead and stagnant. I think it would be nice if I could just close my eyes and create the story by speaking aloud.
Content: Vernon is proud of his new breakthrough in employee-employer relationships 20 months ago
Another session behind, because I didn’t write on Tuesday. For good reason, I threw up early Tuesday morning, went to work anyway, and then went to bed as soon as I got home from work and slept for 14 hours. I took this afternoon off work for a doctor’s appointment, so I could have written before my husband got home, but I was really not feeling it. Probably wouldn’t have written at all if he hadn’t prodded me to do so, and then bribed me. But now I’ve finished, so it’s ice cream time.
Content: Barbara and Bob are back at the lab and Vernon’s taken hostages 20 months ago
Started as soon as I got home from work, and a good thing, too, because I had a lot of research to do with Google street maps. I put in some description of Silvain and Ambit (in her cameo appearance) as per my husband’s suggestion, and then remembered that I had intended to write a scene in which Bob and his mother commandeer a car after they escape from the warehouse. So I did that.
Content: Bob and his mother commandeer a car after they escape from the warehouse 20 months ago
I started my 500 words on Thursday night, but I didn’t finish, because my husband had gastroenteritis and I had to take him to the hospital. I thought I would catch up today, but if so, I should have started earlier, because I spent at least half an hour researching various neighbourhoods in Montreal via Wikipedia and Google maps and street view. And now I’m only up to 65,500 words, but screw it, I have no deadline and Game of Thrones is on. 20 months ago
I did 400 words last while my husband read my first chapter (yes, I’ve finally broken that resolution). He said I needed more description, so I thought I could do 100 words of description at work today (since some of chapter one is set at work) and then come home and do my usual 500. Except that I forgot to location scout while at work, so instead I worked on chapter 13. Which was reinserted after being cut from much earlier in the book, so it needed a lot of editing, or in other words, cutting. But I’m finally up to 65,000 words, which is where I should have been last night, and it’s time for bed. Which means that only four days into my new writing schedule, I’m one day behind… AGAIN! 20 months ago
Spent the weekend at the Ad Astra literary convention, and it must have gone well, because I sat down to the writing in a much less recalcitrant frame of mind than I usually do. It was still halting, and some smearing of peanut butter on graham crackers occurred (much like Douglas Adams and his Bovril sandwiches), but it got done relatively painlessly.
Content: disposing of Oswald 20 months ago
Serious procrastinating, including eating chocolate Cheerios and window shopping at modcloth. Starting to seriously suspect there’s something horribly wrong with the whole premise of this novel and I don’t want to look at it now, I just want to finish it so that I can fix it in post. But am I going to be able to finish it if it’s so deeply flawed?
Content: Oswald gets interrogated 20 months ago
Let’s see, what have I been doing for two weeks? (Is that all it’s been? Felt longer). I decided that I really wanted to put the scene between Bob and his mom back into the book, but it didn’t fit in the current narrative, so it had to be inserted earlier. Which meant another major reorganization (Major Reorganization) of the plot. You know, when I think about how I originally planned to write this novel sequentially, I laugh and laugh and laugh. It took a couple of tries to sort it, and then one more try to edit out some of the stuff that was now repetitive, and today I have finally written myself up to the nearest 500-word mark. On the one hand, I’m 4,000 words ahead of where I was on March 18th. On the other hand, it took me two weeks, which is exactly how many writing sessions are supposed to go into 4,000 words. Oh, irony, you’re supposed to be part of the novel, not part of the writing process. 20 months ago
Again, most of that was taken from an earlier draft, which has left me very torn; it was originally a scene between Bob and his mom, and I’ve changed it to be a scene between Bob and Astrid, which means that some of the references to his childhood had to be deleted or altered. And yet, I thought it was a lot funnier the way it was. So the question is, is this a good example of “Murder (or in this case, maim) your darlings”? Or should I find a way to bring Bob’s mom into this scene?
Content: Bob chows down on his first human 21 months ago
That went really quickly, mostly because I managed to re-purpose about 400 of the 1,000 words that I cut at the end of January. But really, it’s an excellent day for it. We had friends over Friday night and stayed up late, went out dancing last night and stayed up late, and then I was in a pub drinking from 11-3 before I called it a night (a day?). I’m very tired and desperately in need of a nap, so I’m exceedingly grateful to be able to use a writing shortcut today. I just hope it makes sense when I proofread it next time.
Content: Booga men, assemble! 21 months ago