Category: Things to Ponder

Rise and Shine…

I posted that to my facebook today, but I’ll put it here too, because it expresses the mementuousness of what happened.

This morning I woke up, bleary-eyed as usual, at the ungodly hour of 7:45a.m. If you know me, you know I’m not a morning person, and since I don’t drink coffee in the a.m. I just act grumpy until about 10 or so. Having fed the offspring and agreed to let them watch TV so I could go back to bed in peace, I found myself unable to fall asleep again. What to do, what to do? It only took fifteen minutes to check email and facebook and nothing interesting was going on there. The idea of trying to write crossed my mind, but I told myself that since my brain felt like cotton, it would be a pointless exercise.

Fuck that noise, I told myself a few minutes later. I had in front of me an hour of uninterrupted time – a daytime rarity on par with being able to grocery shop alone – and I haven’t written anything in about a week. So let’s see what happens. Even 200 words is further than I was yesterday, right? Right.

Turns out my brain is quick to adjust in the morning, more so than I give it credit for (I think – I haven’t re-read anything I did this morning yet). But I’m 1,600 words closer to the end. It’s also probably the last chance I’ll get to do such a thing – my oldest didn’t have school today and I didn’t work, so we didn’t have to get up for anything. The lesson here: whenever I tell myself I can’t write for X reason, I should just sit the hell down and do it anyway.

The whole excessive-word-count thing is still getting me down, which is why I haven’t touched my work in about a week. I can easily see another 30-50,000 words to go in this thing, and today I hit 90,000. I guess I’ll just see where I end up, but it’s a bit depressing to know that I’ve put so much work into it that might end up never getting seen by anyone. I’ve definitely identified a few scenes that could stand to be cut, but certainly not 20,000 words worth. Maybe I can make it up by chopping all my really‘s and very‘s. That’s gotta be a thousand words right there.

Oh, Shit

I spent my evening hunting around for tips on first-draft editing, and found some stuff – mostly blog posts – that I think will be really helpful. Whereas I’ve been approaching revision with a sense of dread, now I was getting excited about it. So, yay about that.

Then a search engine result caught my eye and I clicked it. It was about standard word counts for various genres of novels. Whether you call what I’m doing urban fantasy or paranormal romance, the standard for both is apparently 90,000-100,000 words. Deviating from the standard can equal automatic rejection for unpublished authors (and I’m assuming I’m considered unpublished because I’ve never published fiction, only journalism).

I’m sitting at 88,000 and am nowhere close to the end.

So now I’m not all that excited about revising anymore. Because chances are good I’m going to be looking to cut around 20,000+ words.

I’m fucked.

Orphan Scenes

Ever have ideas for a scene that’s completely isolated from your story – just a vignette, a brief moment in time, that forms so vividly in your brain you just know you have to use it somewhere? I do all the time, but then I’m stuck with trying to figure out where it could fit into the story arc in a way that’s organic and makes sense. I had one such scene develop this morning as I was semi-conscious – prompted by my desire to start making soup in the fall – and it’s been spinning around inside my head ever since, developing layers, dialogue and feeling. I really like it, and I think it could prove to be an important moment between two of my characters.

Problem is, I have no idea where to put it, or how to develop the story in a way where having it occur would make sense. I mean, I’m sure I’ll figure it out somewhere down the road, but since it’s so detailed in my mind now, I’d like to know where its eventual home will be now. Nothing to do but write down a few notes about it and hope I can find it a good home eventually. I know I don’t want to shove it in there somewhere just for the sake of having it because I thought it up and I’m all enamoured with it right now.

In other news, I thought up the ending to The Unravelling today. I’ve known how the climactic scenes leading up to the end of the book were going to come together ever since I’ve had the idea for the story, but I haven’t been sure quite where one book ended and the next began. Today, I know, down to the very last line, and I’m going to write that down too so I don’t forget it like I have other important details.

Not too bad for a couple hours’ lazing around in bed, hey?

Update: and a couple hours later, once again when I was laying in bed (this time waiting for my youngest to fall asleep) I know exactly where I’m going to put today’s orphan scene. My bed may have magic creative powers.

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