Week 8 Hitting my goal

Manual typewriters and 1973 issues of Vogue – that’s what life consists of for the characters in my novel

Okay, so I’ve been blogging here for a couple of months and now it’s time to let go of the formula I’ve been following and to fly a little.

It’s been a good week generally, and quite excellent with regard to my writing progress. Last Sunday I set myself the target of doubling my basic weekly word-count goal and I’m pleased to say that I managed it, adding a total of 5,050 words to the first draft of my novel. That takes the word count up to 76,380 which means I’m a good three quarters of the way through the draft.

On Sunday I wrote 503 words and noted that I had “pottered” through the first session of the week, by which I mean I took it gently. Monday was a funny old day where I simply felt wiped out for no good reason, but I wrote 906 words that evening so I think it was more physical than mental tiredness. The following day I was feeling a bit more lively then got hit by a lack of inspiration when it came time to write. I added 633 words which isn’t bad, and noted in my summary “Maybe it’s the windy weather blowing tumbleweed into my mind.

My best session was on Wednesday when I added 924 words, the highest word-count of the week. I have been writing about the interaction between two of my characters who are getting along famously although there is a generation gap between them and it’s a dynamic that I am enjoying a lot. Unfortunately, the high was followed by my lowest word-count of the week on Thursday because, as I noted at the end of the session, “Not that into it tonight so added a bit and let it be a lazy session.” Still, I managed 359 words which isn’t too shabby.

I had a much better day on Friday – my weekly swim helped to energise me – and I wrote 892 words, hitting the 75,000 word mark in the process. However, I was struck by a feeling of sadness about drawing towards the end of the story. “What am I going to do when this story is written?” I asked, post-writing. “I mean, I know I’m going to spend the rest of my life rewriting it, but really what am I going to do when the story is told?” What indeed? Will I find other characters that I can care about as much? Do I care about these people too much?

Last night I ended my week  with another 833 words written, but what I wrote made me cry, not the first time that has happened in the course of this story.

There are things that I know I need to put right when I come to the second draft of the story, themes which need to be followed through on where I’ve let them slip, undercurrents that deserve exploration. There is probably also a lot of waffle that can be cut out, although I find real life is mainly waffle so I don’t want to cut too deep. I think what is needed will be clear when I finish the first draft and have a proper read-through and I’m happy at present to leave it to that point; to get the main structure of the narrative in place and then work on the points of finesse at the revision stage.

To sum up, I’m very happy that this has been a productive week on the writing front. I’m not going to set myself anything over my basic word-count as a target for this coming week, but as usual I hope I’ll exceed it.

I am also thinking about the direction I want this blog to take in the coming months in order for it to continue to keep me accountable for progress in my writing. I think that will include adding some fictional entries as well as the technicalities of writing my novel which I’ve been focusing on so far. Still, all descisions on that front can be safely left for another day.

Do you want to know what the best thing is about writing my weekly posts about my creative writing activities? It’s knowing that now the new week starts, full of new thoughts and new words to get down on paper (or the screen as I should call it).

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