So, I started September out with the idea that I'd slowly build up my daily word counts so that by the time November rolled around, I'd be ready and know that I could do this big thing. Fifty thousand words is a lot of writing, especially when you're on a deadline and working from zero.
I started September with a plot, a plan, and a couple of characters. I've completed my first 50,000 words, and then some, and the first draft is "finished." Of course, I use that term loosely, as it is a collection of scenes that I have in chronological order. I still have some smoothing out to tackle, filling in gaps, and rounding things out. Not to mention the revising of what is written and editing those mistakes that are inevitable when you're writing at 2 a.m. and your hero's name is Teo (amazing how many times Toe goes riding... grr).
A perfectionist I have always been when it comes to my writing. Years as a secretary saw me growling at myself when I'd send a letter out, go to file the copy, and discovered I'd used the wrong article somewhere in the text. Or worse, left out a comma in the date. I'm really not much better now, but when I say this to my published-author friends, they assure me that I will, in fact, go back and read my "finished" work in 5 years, and find horrid, unforgivable spelling errors and missed punctuation.
That's the life, I suppose.
The other side of this coin, is that book one is plotted, planned, and mostly written. I had thought that when I finished that draft (almost a month before I thought I'd have it finished, I might add), that I'd have time to spend the rest of this month going back and working on the character profiles, archetypes, mapping out the land and the homes of my characters... That background work that makes stories come together in a cohesive, believable time line.
My muse laughed at that. She did. Really.
I woke up the next morning, and had to sit for 6 hours and write several scenes for book 2, because... Well because they were there, demanding that I write them. And I'm glad I did. They're critical to the story, but I've since forgotten the details that made them flow together in my head.
I'm finally able to take a step back and work on those characters now, and I'm grateful for that.
I'm discovering little details that are opportunities to build the story, build the relationships between characters and bring them together even tighter. I'm grateful for these days.
I've also been blessed with office space, at last!
Well, technically, it's just space in our tiny apartment, but I have a desk and a filing cabinet and a bookshelf where I can keep all my goodies at hand, and not work sitting on the bed, surrounded by notebooks, reference books and journals. And the best part is that I can look out the window and watch the sky as clouds come in from the ocean and deer wander into our yard to browse on the oak leaves and grasses as the sun goes down. There are stories unfolding in our yard, details for other stories walking around out there. It's not exactly my dream come true, but it's a damn good substitute for the time being, while other things fall into place for us.
*This post originally appeared on one of my old blogs, on Sept. 29, 2016. I will be moving the blog posts over there to sagewolfsong.com gradually.*