Hey all, you may have noticed that it’s been a bit quiet around here recently. This is entirely my fault, and if you want to assign blame then I am that fellow. There’s been some crazy stuff going on in my personal life, nothing to worry about, but also not something I’m getting into in a public setting.
The events of this month have skewed everything, really. It’s been an avalanche of one thing on top of another. Included in there has been a tax fiasco, among everything else. It’s been really good times.
But finally, sun is breaking through the clouds, much as our weather has done. It’s really beautiful out there, and my lilac bush is sprouting leaves at last. It is past time to continue work on my fitness and finish up my ongoing project, the long-banked alternate history trilogy.
I will have you know that I am in Act III, or the finale, of the final book in the series, which has the helpful name of “3.” This makes for exactly 111 chapters completed, with maybe ten to go. As is usual when I get to the end of a book like this, I feel an acceleration.
Maybe that’s not the right word, but it fits how I feel. Suddenly there is no problem with motivation to write, stuff picks up and the story almost begs to be written.
So I sit down and I write, usually at odd hours. My best times are early in the morning, although I’ve written at all hours depending on the household situation. My standard has been a chapter, or 2-3k words per day, everyday.
In March, I failed to meet the standard.
See vague life circumstances and distractions above.
However, something I did when this current writing blitz started in December was to plan in ample time for project completion. I established my own internal deadline as to when I want to finish up, and I mean to stick to it.
I’m not sure if it will be possible, but I want Book 3 to be done as of 1 April.
Right now I’m on Chapter 31 of a planned 40.
Today I’m feeling the bug, although the sun is shining outside. On days like today I can easily do two chapters. If I try more I usually get a headache and my left arm begins to tingle. So I try to limit myself. Although three chapters would be great, and at this point, easy to do.
The feeling I have, almost every time, at the beginning of Act III is one of falling. It feels like standing on sand in an hourglass, and you are being pulled inexorably toward the little Venturi in the bottom. It is a feeling of inevitability.
This is very good! It means the story is doing EXACTLY what it should be doing at this point in a novel- it is picking up the pace, it is speeding up.
And this was the problem with the first book I wrote.
The structure was entirely instinctive, I wrote it without a plan or an outline. There are those who say it’s a good book, but there are others that have justifiably criticized it.
Well, that book was a real learning experience. And I did learn. By the time I completed the trilogy, I had some very important friends and mentors, as well as fans (!), and I had done some professional reading about writing and structure.
So now I wouldn’t dream of starting a novel without an outline. There is no way I would commit a word to paper without taking flow into account.
But instinct is still important. Feel. It is crucial, and I’m not sure how you learn it except to read or watch a LOT.
And what I’m feeling about this trilogy right now is good.
Will I make the first of April? I don’t know.
But I’ll do my damndest.