Well, it finally happened. I was wondering when it would. I got sick of outlining and planning and researching and threw up my hands in exasperation and just started drafting.
And after thinking about it awhile, this is exactly like how every one of my other novels has gone. And yet, I expected this time to be different. I really wanted to have a whole outline and clear picture of characters and plot and setting and …. It was going to be easy this time, smooth, not as much editing work. I should’ve known better.
I honestly don’t know why I suffer writing amnesia so much. It really is like after I finish one novel, I never remember what the writing process was like so I’m forced to relearn the same lessons over and over (not sure if that’s a description of hell or insanity, but here we are). Another personal writing fallacy I recently discovered, I’ve always maintained that writing the opening act is always the easiest and most fun part for me. One of the reasons I’ve delayed beginning drafting for so long is I didn’t have a clear picture where to start this beast of a novel. And then I did something crazy, I thought back to writing the openings of my other novels.
I’ve written five novels to date, the openings for two of them went superfast and easy (The Elgin Deceptions and the alternate history steampunk). The other three– The other three were painful, slow and filled with a lot of head holding and questioning of life decisions. So why would I expect this one to be any different? (Followed quickly by, why do I do this? Which I then remembered how much I love it—it’s like a bike, it’s better once you get going.)
At any rate, I’ve begun drafting and truth be told, I’m still a little pessimistic on this one. I’ve decided to target writing 100 new words a day from now until the end of 2018. If that holds, that’ll put me at about 8200 words, which should be about a third to halfway through the first act. That should be enough time for me to really assess whether this novel’s got legs or whether I need face reality and shift to another more fruitful project in the new year.
And yeah, 100 words a day is a far cry from previous targets, but this novel is a beast, and I’ve been removed from the discipline of drafting for a while, so a nice low bar to clear for the moment suits me just fine.