What i’m foretelling, what i can’t, and what i shan’t
Happy April, all.
I was hung up on word count in the beginning chapters, and gave it up while ago. Word count isn’t the point. Besides, when i felt the story was about halfway through, i decided to fold it up like a telescope – bringing it down to supportable length – or like an umbrella, reducing its width of coverage. (Similes, don’t you love ’em?) After that, the number of words shouted ‘failure’ in my face because i was looking at a much smaller total than i’d originally aimed for.
Besides, it’s not the most important thing. By now i’ve even lost count of how many chapters i have, partly cos i know i’m going to re-jig the structure anyway in terms of where to break the narrative into chapters, but also partly cos it’s just no longer interesting to me to count in those terms.
This has to be a good thing?
As it turns out, the end hasn’t happened yet, though it’s close now. And the count isn’t going to stop at 70,000 words, though at 60,000 the amount of telling i foresaw didn’t look more than another ten thou. And every so often the Type A in my personality jumps up and insists on caring about the numbers again.
Today i wrote ten pages in my Big Pink Book (Big Pink Book E, actually) which i estimate to be not far short of 2,000 words as it’s small print, meaning my handwriting wasn’t in scrawly mood this morning. I am rather surprised. The old buzz was there. 🙂 Given that yesterday i had to give up at 3½ pages, and THAT was as good as it’s got for yonks n yonks, you can understand i’m pleased.
My wrist still limits the amount i can do each day. Normally if i overdo the scribbling, i hurt in the evening, but yesterday i actually couldn’t hold the pen any more and had to stop with sentences still pecking at the inside of that shell to get out onto the paper. (Metaphor, even better than simile, you’ve got to agree.) Maybe that helped today’s output, though i usually try to leave it in the middle of flowing easily so as to pick it up the next day knowing what comes next.
Maybe, too, the physical restrictions affect the creative yield, in some subtle way such as fatigue affecting judgement. Seems plausible but i don’t know. (If that’s true it gives me a handy excuse for being not awfully productive.)
Anyway, i’m off to do a lot of typing up. I’m not telling you the current word count. Suffice to say my horizon has shifted and this manuscript may be heading towards the 100K rather than the miserable 80K which would edit down to a book far too slim to do anything with. Nor am i telling you what i’ve learnt from writing it, until i’ve written it ALL. What i’ve learnt is enough for at least a whole slogpost. And what i’m doing next… well. You didn’t expect to be told that today, did you?