Novel Progress

I’ve actually done a lot of work on the novel the past few days, just haven’t posted about it.


Saturday morning I’d told myself I was going to get up and start writing the next chapter, chapter 7. However, my brain seemed to have different ideas. Instead, I rewrote the story I’d written the day before (from third-person present to first person past.) I also rewrote chapter 6. Then I dumped all the separate files of the novel into a single file, put the text into manuscript format, and printed it out.

Sunday, I started going through the hardcopy, reading it out loud while wandering from the living room to the bedroom and then back to the kitchen and around again. Had a couple of “wow” moments, when I ran across something that was particularly good (as in, “Wow, did I write that?”) Much of the time, though, was spent smoothing things out. I read through about half of what I had (30 pages) twice.

This morning I’d told myself that I was just going to continue with the rewrite, as I’d failed so spectacularly to do anything original throughout the weekend. However, as I was drinking my coffee, I found that I was casting about for the first sentence of chapter 7. And, suddenly, there it was. I didn’t have my computer turned on — it’s too much of a temptation, once it’s on, to do things *other* than write. Besides, all I was planning on doing this morning was reading the hard copy.

However, I knew that if I didn’t capture that sentence it would be gone. So I grabbed pen and paper, just to write down that first sentence.

Three pages later I’m finally finished, most of the first scene of that chapter sketched out. It was probably only around 300 words (about 100 words per page.) Still, I’m very pleased that this absolute need to get the words down has returned, this need to speak in a character’s voice. It’s a new experience for me to hear characters so well. It isn’t that I didn’t hear them before, with the other novels — but these voices just have such clarity. The word choice is so easy this time.

After I finished writing, I got back to the hardcopy, rereading chapter 4 and putting it to rights. I knew that parts of that chapter required a great deal of work, but parts didn’t, the parts that had come to me with joy the first go round.

The absolute joy of writing wasn’t here this morning, but it’s lurking, around the edges. I can feel it. I do feel a great deal of satisfaction for having finished what I did. The joy isn’t lost. And it isn’t as though I wasn’t happy writing this morning, either.

The lesson in all of this for me is that I need to continue to do what strikes me that day, every day. It isn’t that I don’t need plans, I just have to continue to be willing to give them up at a moment’s notice.

Tomorrow the plan is to continue going through the hardcopy. And maybe that will happen. Or maybe I’ll just write more of chapter 7. Whatever. It’s all in the groove. (^_^)

And yes, I owe a ton of people email. Hopefully ya’ll already know that I’m a horrible correspondant. I can’t guarantee I’ll get to them today — need to focus on the day job — have actual *work* to do. And I’m starting a class an ASL tonight. Tomorrow perhaps?

::smooches and random hugs::

Comments (20)

    • Re: Neato!

      Thanks! And best of luck with everything you’re doing these days as well. . .

  1. You’ve had a tough year…I’m just glad to see that you are writing!

    Post when you can.

    • Hopefully will be moving past most of the tough times. . .And I’m *so* happy to be writing. Really glad to be hooking back up with that joy.

  2. And I’m starting a class an ASL tonight.

    On the off-chance that ASL means American Sign Language in the above, and assuming that you’re going to be taking the course, rather than teaching it —

    I took Sign back thirty years ago, when the university in its infinite wisdom decided that Professional School Printer, Supervision of — came under my job description. Said Professional School Printer was of course deaf, as so many of the state-funded printers were in those days, and lo! I had acquired a supervisee that I couldn’t even say “good morning” to. So, I learned Sign. Not well, but good enough for simple things — and once I had a base, Randy (the printer) was more than willing to help me expand my holdings *g*

    It’s a very, very interesting language, and I found that using it gave me a feeling for language (pun sort of intended) that I had previously lacked, though at the time I still spoke (for some definition of “speak”) both Spanish and the local Street creole. The …physicality… of Sign is just fascinating, so “speaking” feels more like writing…

    Babbling on half a brain, me. Have a good time with your course — and many congrats on the writing progress!

    • yeap — It’s American Sign Language, and I’m taking, not teaching, the course.

      I’ve known the ASL alphabet for years — since I was in 7th grade and one of my friends taught it to me. I also know a few signs, not many. I used the alphabet when I taught English in Taiwan — the kids learned everything *so* much faster when there was a physical element to it. I figure it’ll be different than the other languages I’ve learned — am looking forward to that.

    • Re: Neato!

      Thanks! And best of luck with everything you’re doing these days as well. . .

  3. You’ve had a tough year…I’m just glad to see that you are writing!

    Post when you can.

    • Hopefully will be moving past most of the tough times. . .And I’m *so* happy to be writing. Really glad to be hooking back up with that joy.

  4. And I’m starting a class an ASL tonight.

    On the off-chance that ASL means American Sign Language in the above, and assuming that you’re going to be taking the course, rather than teaching it —

    I took Sign back thirty years ago, when the university in its infinite wisdom decided that Professional School Printer, Supervision of — came under my job description. Said Professional School Printer was of course deaf, as so many of the state-funded printers were in those days, and lo! I had acquired a supervisee that I couldn’t even say “good morning” to. So, I learned Sign. Not well, but good enough for simple things — and once I had a base, Randy (the printer) was more than willing to help me expand my holdings *g*

    It’s a very, very interesting language, and I found that using it gave me a feeling for language (pun sort of intended) that I had previously lacked, though at the time I still spoke (for some definition of “speak”) both Spanish and the local Street creole. The …physicality… of Sign is just fascinating, so “speaking” feels more like writing…

    Babbling on half a brain, me. Have a good time with your course — and many congrats on the writing progress!

    • yeap — It’s American Sign Language, and I’m taking, not teaching, the course.

      I’ve known the ASL alphabet for years — since I was in 7th grade and one of my friends taught it to me. I also know a few signs, not many. I used the alphabet when I taught English in Taiwan — the kids learned everything *so* much faster when there was a physical element to it. I figure it’ll be different than the other languages I’ve learned — am looking forward to that.

  5. The lesson in all of this for me is that I need to continue to do what strikes me that day, every day. It isn’t that I don’t need plans, I just have to continue to be willing to give them up at a moment’s notice.

    I wish I could live like that. It’s a wonderful philosphy.

    I don’t think we’ve talked about it, how did your class go?

    • I wish I could live like that. It’s a wonderful philosphy.

      I don’t know if it’s a practical philosphy, though *G*. There are still things that I need to do, need to plan. Can’t always be random and spontaneous. But when I can be, I think that’s what I need to be, what I need to do. At least at this point in my life. This type of living seems to be what’s filling my soul the most.

      Class was fine — though different than what I’d expected. I’d really expected ASL, not an exact sign class. ASL is a different language, has different grammar, etc. She’s teaching us signs, and to use them exactly, spelling everything out. Still — I’m happy for the vocabulary, for the practice. It’s a start. Maybe when I get to Seattle I’ll find a real ASL class.

      *hugs*

  6. The lesson in all of this for me is that I need to continue to do what strikes me that day, every day. It isn’t that I don’t need plans, I just have to continue to be willing to give them up at a moment’s notice.

    I wish I could live like that. It’s a wonderful philosphy.

    I don’t think we’ve talked about it, how did your class go?

    • I wish I could live like that. It’s a wonderful philosphy.

      I don’t know if it’s a practical philosphy, though *G*. There are still things that I need to do, need to plan. Can’t always be random and spontaneous. But when I can be, I think that’s what I need to be, what I need to do. At least at this point in my life. This type of living seems to be what’s filling my soul the most.

      Class was fine — though different than what I’d expected. I’d really expected ASL, not an exact sign class. ASL is a different language, has different grammar, etc. She’s teaching us signs, and to use them exactly, spelling everything out. Still — I’m happy for the vocabulary, for the practice. It’s a start. Maybe when I get to Seattle I’ll find a real ASL class.

      *hugs*

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