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Posted by Dirck on 17 August, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 17 manuscript pages.

Say, that doesn’t seem like a very productive week, does it? Well… let me counter that impression with a couple of pictures.  The first is slightly misleading.

Why is this misleading?  Because it implies a mathematical precision exists in the growth of what is, really, an organic structure.  We don’t look at a basketball player and say, “That person is 114.3% tall,” right? So, on to the other, more completely accurate picture:

Yep. END.  The story has run its course, the protagonist slumping off to face the rest of his life in the wake of the harrowing events laid out on the preceding 802 pages†, and I get to have a beer to reinforce myself at the prospect of the second draft (which I was already dreading as part of an entry in May).  It may only be 97.9% of the projected length, but for someone who hasn’t a lot of novel-ing experience, and who a couple of times thought the plot was gurgling out of him much too briskly, I’m fairly proud to have landed that close to the target.

I’m trying to decide now whether I give myself a bit of a break and work on a short story or two, or if I should just get onto the smoothing of this roughly-gouged bit of word-granite into something that actually looks like a viable novel.  I believe that I’ll decide this at leisure, over the course of the weekend.  Under the influence of large beer and strong drink.  You know, like those writers you see in movies.

 

†You see the format of all those pages, of course.  If my estimates are near correct, that’s just shy of 300 pages of legible, typed material.  I ain’t no Stephen King, nor any George R.R. Martin (yet)‡.

 

‡This parenthetical barnacle may be considered a sign of raging hubris.  I’m sure I’ll get over it as the magnitude of the work ahead of me becomes apparent and notes from my helpful readers begin to appear.

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Posted by Dirck on 10 August, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 17 manuscript pages.

A short week, we having celebrated “OK You Can Have A Long Weekend In August” Day on Monday.  That last entry was actually run out at home, making it one of perhaps a half-dozen generated there.  I expect I’ll be doing some work on the novel tomorrow, rather than my usual lunch out, to satisfy my own sense of devotion to the work.  Here, have a look at how things stand:

I am, as it happens, right in the middle of the climax.  This is fantastic, from a standpoint of the climax landing just about exactly where I’d hoped it would, but it is also amazingly frustrating because I have all the words surging about in my head right now, and if I could actually convince the whole world to ignore my existence for… I’ll say a solid five hour block of time, I could get it all out in a single session rather than stuttering along for a few pages before Mr. Slate yanks the pteranodon’s tail to announce the end of lunch.  And I can’t just say to the family “I’m not actually here” in the evenings, because my wife has a role in a stage production of A Turn of the Screw and rehearsals are every damn  night this week– the son wants a companion and the wife can’t drive.  I got duties.

But enough lamenting.  The end is nigh!  Hoorah!

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Posted by Dirck on 3 August, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 22 manuscript pages.

If you hear a slight humming noise, it may well be me in my excitement at being so close to finished the first draft. The climax is not quite underway, but the fuse on it is burning and about to enter the touch-hole.

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Posted by Dirck on 27 July, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 22 manuscript pages.

That’s a rather better week of it.  The summit is at last in view, too– I’m only about 90 pages from my goal.  This is good news, because what little I know about pacing is shouting at me that delaying the climax much based on where the story stands now is not wise.

I also want to be slightly self-congratulatory about this weeks perseverance, as yesterday saw an honest parade of painful stupidity at Regular Job.  I was able to grunt through it for the noon writing session, but at the cost of forgetting completely to reply to some emails from people seeking work on their pens.  I’d best get at that, eh?

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Posted by Dirck on 20 July, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 15 manuscript pages.

Yes, that is a crappy output. Not only did I not manage to get the binder open once during the vacation, I returned to find a more than usually tall pile of Regular Job awaiting my return (more than is usual for post-vacation, that is), and I forgot about a first-aid re-certification course that ate the whole of this week’s Wednesday.

On the up side, the course reminded me of all sorts of quotidian, mundane horrors to leaven my writing with.  Brr.

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Posted by Dirck on 29 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 18 manuscript pages (thin air up here.  Thin indeed).

The annual summer silence is about to descend on this enterprise, as my two weeks away† from The Regular Job begin on Monday.  Of course, the way things have been running lately, the interruption will be almost imperceptible.  As it ever the case, I’ll hope to get some writing done around the expectations of family and fabric of the house without expecting to.  This will make for a good deal more physical work than last year, carting the giant heap of paper home and then shifting it out of the way while doing whatever it is that gets in the way of writing is; we remember that another translation of codex is “lump of wood.”

We will try to overlook a more colloquial use of the word by native Latin speakers; blockhead.  I’m sure I shall feel like one in a fortnight when I’ve failed to advance the work beyond its current state, however much I hope to.

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Posted by Dirck on 22 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 18 manuscript pages.

This week was a bit of a struggle, and not for want of inspiration or direction.  I knew exactly what the scene at hand was to be, but I was doing something terrible to the protagonist.  I’ve done plenty of terrible to other characters, mind you, and the protagonist has been dealing with the fall-out from it, and even witnessing some of it, but that’s all comfortably fictitious supernatural terribleness.  This week the terrible was of a true-to-life nature, the sort of thing that happens all the damn time in the news and which makes us all shake our heads and wonder at the base nature of humanity.

What made this hard is that it wasn’t something that was done to the protagonist; it was something he did.  Given who I modeled him on, and who the inspiration for his victim is, it was a steep bit of the path to the summit.  All the more so because I can imagine the sort of assumptions that will get made post-publication; if the author wrote this, then doesn’t it stand to reason he thought thus?

No.  No it doesn’t.  That’s why the slow progress.  I was axle-deep in cognitive dissonance.

Also, you’ll note there that I flatter myself with the notion that there’s going to be publication. Vanity still has a seat at my table.

OH!  I forgot, in all that– srtuggle or no, I’m out of the red at last:

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Posted by Dirck on 15 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 21 manuscript pages.

No profound thoughts this week; I do find myself having to tamp down impatience to be bloody well done this first draft, and not just because I’d like to get onto the back-up-able phase and silence worries about fire, flood and nesting rodents.  The calendar pages are flying off the wall!  Other stories want writing!

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Posted by Dirck on 8 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 26 manuscript pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 1 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 20 manuscript pages.

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