Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Slowing Down

Act Four of my new novel has been tough.  It was the least formed of all of what I'd envisioned, and lots of stuff has gotten in the way.  I'm still averaging around 1,000 words a day, but it's not the pace I'd like to be at.  I had wild dreams of doing at least 2,000 words a day, and possibly even 3,000.  Unfortunately, that hasn't occurred.

There have been several unexpected events this month in my household, and that has obviously stifled the progress I wanted to make.  Just as those events recede, at least temporarily, I got sick, and I'll admit to being a complete weenie when I get sick.  I cough, wheeze, and generally feel sorry for myself, but I also recognize I'm in no state to produce my best work, so I let it pass before going back in full bore.  Combine that with the fact that my outline has flowed as freely as I might've liked, and you can get a sense of the level of frustration I've experienced this month.
(Don't let your work fall in)
Part of my getting antsy is, I think, the fact that I'm so close to the end, and that I've never written a novel this large before in such a short period of time.  The first draft is likely to come in at just under 160,000 words, and it should be finished in a total of four months.  However, the closer I get, the further away it feels.  I've got several plot points to wrap up, and not a lot of space to wrap it up in.  I know I've said that stories will end when they end, so the novel could go on if I wanted it to, but I don't want to ramble.  Each act needs to be between 35,000 and 40,000 words in the first draft, so I can't just keep going.  If it gets too long, the reader will lose interest.

It reminds me of the final couple of miles of the 25 mile road march I undertook a few years ago.  Near the end, each section of road seemed to stretch into eternity.  Despite knowing how close I was to the end, the horizon appeared to retreat from my grasp.  It affected my pace, and I began to notice every little twinge my body screamed about.

I have to try and knuckle down and just finish.  If I could go hard for a week straight, averaging around 3,000 words a day, I could be finished by the end of the weekend, but circumstances seem to conspire against me.  Am I whining?  You bet, but I'll get past it.

I plan to take a break of a couple of months after this.  Yes, I will continue to write short stories, but I will lay off the pressure of producing a novel for a bit.  My next work won't be near as long as this one, and it won't begin until after the 4th of July.  The ease of this one has become surprisingly straining, and I need to recharge.  But until then, I've got to continue to trudge towards the end.

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