State of the Novel – April

Posted: April 8, 2012 in Writing

I’ve been talking a lot about my reading lately and I was talking about Novel Attempt Number 4 today so decided it was appropriate for a State of the Novel.

I’ve mentioned before that I hand write first drafts now. This helps me because it postpones the constant editing until later, when it’s an appropriate time to do said editing. But at the same time, it leaves me room to make notes and such for when I do go back to editing. At times of writers block though, I have gone back and typed the early stages of the novel into ye old computer.

So 17k words in the computer. That constitutes half of Yellow Notebook. My handwritten pages are halfway through the second Red Notebook. My estimate of actual word count is around 30k-ish.

I do have the rest of the major plot points blocked out so by my estimate I’m in the 45-50% complete range. I like to leave a lot of wiggle room in my outlines though so it might mushroom. I’ve had a few chapters do that already and go in directions I didn’t expect and that’s always an awesome feeling. So something may happen to change that percent complete mark but once I sat down and realized I’m nearing the halfway point, it felt pretty awesome.

I actually just plugged my way through a tough chapter this week. There was a lot of dialogue to the last chapter. That doesn’t come naturally to me. I need to keep from talking about things going on and having the *characters* talk to each other about what’s going on. It’s working but slows down my pace especially since this last chapter was all dialogue between two characters that are alike so there was a fine line I had to ride to keep them from being too similar. I’ve also got a character who has made a habit of talking to himself to avoid massive blocks without any spoken words.

One of my closest friends Jay has agreed to trade chapters and/or shorts on Saturdays. Immoveable deadlines work well for me, hence getting though the last chapter. I can’t impose them on myself and he has no qualms at all with yelling at me if I don’t finish one on time. I’m feeling positive that this will be really good for me to finally finish this damn thing.

Which is good because my notes for the next novel are starting to pile up.

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