On Tuesday, I wrote the final chapter. The manuscript is still scattered across multiple files (I find this structure easier to work with while things are still changing frequently), and many of the files have “brackets” in them – notes to myself or Jean to check or add something.
But the bulk of the writing is done. It’s just over 75,000 words – approximately 250-275 pages. That’s longer than I had expected, especially since editing often adds 10-30%. We’ll see what happens.
Early on, the book mostly followed the original story line. The early chapters were pretty well outlined, and writing them was straightforward. But as we got nearer the end, the story started to drive itself. The original story line outlines got out-of-date, and I had to stop regularly to talk to Jean and re-work the outline.
I think we just did our last re-work. The end is in sight. Another week or two and the first draft will be done!
I’ve mentioned before how sometimes the characters surprise you. It’s happened again. There are a couple of new characters in the book. Jean and I know all about their background and history. The other characters do not…
Anyway, when these new characters began to interact with the regular cast, something unexpected happened. It’s like an entire little story line of its own.
We thought we had the entire story outlined, but now these two come along and want to shake things up.
We’re not sure where this is going yet, and it’s a little late in the book (we’re about 200 pages in) for an unanticipated plot line, but it’s their story, after all. We’re just along for the ride. So we’ll see where this goes.
Had a great writing session yesterday. I spent my entire morning walk (masked, as it was smoky yesterday morning) planning the next couple of scenes, did some more planning in the afternoon, then finally got to write the first one just before dinner.
What fun! We’re back at ICBDA again – but this time with a different superstar. Care to guess who?
One of the peculiar things about having characters in your head is that you suffer (and feel joy) along with them. Today I was writing a scene where Alan is having a rough time and I found myself in need of a little emotional support from my co-author. Luckily, things sort themselves out pretty quickly for Alan and the writing session ended on a high note. Still, sometimes I wish I could only write the FUN parts!
It’s a little weird. For most of the past week, I’ve been writing in great detail about a place I’ve never been (and, thanks to the pandemic, am unlikely to see before the book is published).
Fortunately I have friends who live there, and they’ve been extremely helpful. And, of course, this is fiction, so I can play with the details. But I seem to enjoy the process more, and find more inspiration, when I try to make the story play out in the real world. So I’ve been visiting parks, cycle paths, shows, and restaurants virtually. I’m starting to feel like I know my way around.
We’re up over a hundred pages now. It’s really starting to feel like a book.
I had an interesting insight into Shelly today. I hadn’t made the connection before, because SHELLY hasn’t make the connection. But, viewing things from the outside, some of her thoughts and actions are starting to make more sense. You’ll probably understand when you read the book. I put a bit of symbolism in there to underline it – see if you catch it.
It’s funny, because readers will probably assume it was all planned. But, until today, I’d just been documenting Shelly’s feelings and reactions without really understanding where it’s all coming from.
I love this part of the writing process – when something suddenly goes “click”!
Quick update. Shelly and Alan have made it through Boot Camp and are hanging out in Florida with friends. It’s very motivating to see the page count growing. There’s still a long way to go, but I’m really enjoying this section.During storyline work, I re-watched the entire Worlock Foxtrot Boot Camp video. The last couple of weeks I’ve watched several of the session in great detail. I’m learning a lot!