One of the things that thrills me, and frustrates me, about writing is how things I am making up -- things coming out of my own head and which I should know very well -- can so completely surprise me. Case in point: Tonight I began a chapter featuring a new character. A character that I wasn't expecting to show up for several more chapters. A character who isn't even in the outline I wrote out for several more chapters! And yet, there she is, in a scene I never outlined but that seems to make total sense. And is a much better introduction than my outline gives her, too, by the way. Why did I even bother with an outline? I guess I'm more of a "making it up as I go along" type writer...
Lots of writing-related stuff going on at the moment, which is probably how it should be. I guess. Zomburbia is currently with three new readers, and its first reader thinks that I'm a polish away from being able to send it to an agent and then to publishers. My fingers are crossed. I'm working on what looks like will be another novel, numbers for which you will find at the bottom of this post. I've joined a new writing group. Actually, I am the founding member of a brand new writing group which is comprised of me and one other writer (hi, Kate!), but it's gonna blow up, I can tell. On top of all of that, I currently have, what, four comics things in various stages of development. Three of those are with a co-writer (hi, Phil!) and one that I'm writing my self.
That feels like a lot. Probably more than I can reasonably handle. We'll see.
And here are today's numbers:
Daily word count: 1,018
Monthly word count: 5,136
Novel word count: 5,136
I'm well into chapter two and things are developing nicely. I like the main character and I'm having fun developing the world. So that's all good.
Speaking with Greig Means this weekend (editor and publisher of the excellent Tugboat Press, about which I need to write, I think) it occurred to me that I hadn't been updating this blog much lately. This is for a variety of reasons, none of which need to be gone into here despite the fact that this is a blog and that's usually exactly the kind of thing that is gone into.
Anyway, it occurred to me what I useful tool this blog was when I was writing my novel. I posted my progress every day and if I had no progress, I posted that, too. The knowledge that people were keeping track of those slowly mounting numbers helped to motivate me. I bring this all up because I seem to find myself writing another novel. What I think will become another novel, at least. (My wife's declaration to this bit of news was something like, "Why would you do that?" Indeed.)
I didn't come up with the idea of publicly tracking my progress. In the grand tradition of writers everywhere, I stole the idea from someone more talented and more intelligent than me. Cherie Priest, writer of scary stories and, lately, steampunk novels does just this. I've also noted that just lately, in the last couple of days, Warren Ellis (Ellis's site is very often NSFW) is also tracking his novel-in-progress's growing word count. So I'm in good company, I suppose.
So let me recap, very quickly, my progress so far, starting with the fact that my goal is to write 1,000 words a day.
On Friday, I wrote 1,026 words. Saturday yielded 1,092. On Sunday I had a full day with Oscar up in Portland and I only managed 317 words, but I made up for that by writing 1,683 words tonight which is 2,000 exactly for the last two days. That makes a grand total of 4,118. There. Starting tomorrow, I'll start having a running total at the bottom of each post until I get to end of the first draft.
I suppose I should write just a bit about the first novel, Zomburbia. I finished the second draft and sent it off to three readers. My first reader is going to give it another once-over and two new victims volunteers are also reading it. Soon I will have even more corrections to make, I'm sure, and I'll be able start on a third draft. After that, who knows. Maybe it'll be time to start finding an agent. As much as I'm able, I'll document the whole process here.