The path to finishing this week’s story has an interesting arc. (And by finished I mean the hand-written draft. I will still take tomorrow and Friday to type it up.)
I wrote the first 1000 words on Sunday. Had to run at the beginning 3 times, so it actually took me about 2 hours just for that first 1000 words.
Then I couldn’t get anywhere on the story on Monday. Nothing came out. Wrote maybe a page. Knew something was wrong. Ended up doing a gender change on the main character, and it all started flowing.
Except that it didn’t. Ideas did, but Tuesday still brought no words. I kept trying to put the character into a specific situation where she could try and fail. I knew that in terms of the story she would try-fail in this scene, then in a second scene she would try-fail in a very similar manner.
Finally realized that the first try-fail scene was unnecessary. I just needed the second. If this was a novel, both would be important for character nuance. For a short story, I really only needed the second one.
So this morning, Wednesday, I set my alarm to get up early, so I could write for an hour before I started the day job. Did 1000 words. Then this afternoon, after the day job and before dinner I wrote another 1000 words. After dinner and a break, I wrote another 1000 words. Then I did the dishes, took another short break, and wrote the last 750 words.
I’m more pleased with the story than I have been with the last two. A big part of that is because I took the time to do a bit of plotting. I didn’t know the outcome of the last scene until I wrote it, but I knew what that last scene was going to be about. That helps me a lot when it comes to writing.
This word count isn’t any type of record for me. I’ve written 6000+ words in a day before. Today was relatively easy: I took breaks and it was all spaced out. But doing this much today shows me that I could, if I really wanted to, do this much on a more regular basis.
Next week is World Fantasy Con for many people. Not for me unfortunately – I didn’t sell my condo and so I’m too broke to go. However, I am taking the days off still, next Thursday and Friday. I’m going to sit and write full time. I’d really like to write two short stories next week. No guarantees, but that’s my plan at this point. I know I can do it, given today.