Tuesday, 29 January 2019

Still Life at 85


Well, made it to 85,000 words on Still Life.

I have to say, it was going really well. I made myself cry three days in a row whilst doing some awful things to some very good characters. Don't worry - it'll all be all right in the end. Also spent one day battling to write through my neighbour hammering metal all afternoon. Not sure what that was about - reroofing?

I've really felt back in the saddle this past week, after so long avoiding this story post-chaptergate. Then, today, at 85,000 words, I'm feeling a little stuck again. I can see the end, I'm just not sure how to get there. It's tricky alternating timelines. This one switches between modern day and Victorian England. At the moment, I can see the Victorian storyline very clearly, but I have a modern-day chapter to get through before that, and for the first time, I'm flailing a little.

It will come to me.

I feel like I'm entering the end of it. So it'll tie up around 90-95,000 words. Not that word count really matters, but it's nice to know you're in the ball park for a novel when you start to get a sense of impending closure. That's a horrible feeling to have at 50,000 and terrifying if you don't feel it after 100,000. Like tennis, with the sort of fiction I write, you're looking to hit it inside the service line.

More than any other novel I've ever written, this feels like a rough draft. I'm looking forward to polishing it up. When I first started out writing, I used to read back through what I'd written the day before, I'd be constantly editing as I went. Now, nine novels in (four published, two bottom-drawer, three self-published) I've really lost that compulsive obsessive edge. I'm more relaxed about getting it on the page and mopping up after.

This one will be an interesting beast.

Day late to mention this, but I've been keeping up the atmosphere with #momentomorimonday.

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