Writing, um, whatever it’s called

My work in progress is coming along. Problems so far: I have no title (called Hunter’s Tale for now), I’ve been revising my outline as I go (I’m totally a pantser) and I’m not even sure yet if it’s going to be a short, novella or novel. This is my first dedicated effort at a novel-length (if it makes it to that length) work in nearly 20 years. I have several ideas of what I want in this story. Some of these are vague: battle between main character (Hunter) and one of the tougher Italiaxi (the group in the story but who? He [or she] doesn’t exist at this point.) Needless to say I have no clue to what I’m doing yet. I’m a procrastinator of like the first or second class. But I’m breaking out of that and into a slightly more rigorous habit of writing and completing.

One of my resolutions this year is to write every day. I know I will miss 2 or 3 weeks during the year so I’ll have 345 days of writing for certain. I’ve been hitting a minimum of 250 words a day. That’s at least 80,000 words, enough for a novel or several short stories. My goal at this point is to write with a provisional goal of completing every story I start. As I build momentum and get at least another story under my belt, I’ll amp my goal from writing *whatever* to writing at least 1,000 words daily. By then, I might be able to get out 2,000. We’ll see.

There is no guarantee any story I do now, after editing, will be publishable. I’m working on HT primarily with some Flash Fiction thrown in. Some of the ideas behind HT I’d thought of while writing years ago, when I was semi-serious about writing but lacking the discipline. I have files of ideas and unfinished stories so pulling out the old stuff I have wanted to write gives me plenty to use. I have so much to add now that I could not have made up then. My work is still not NYT best-selling but much better than what it once was.

Not a problem? When I write I have to have the television going or music playing. That noise helps me focus, get a rhythm. I can keep my mind distracted as I write. It’s a bit like sleeping with one of those relaxing machines.

HT is a story I’m writing from an idea from years ago. The story isn’t the same one I thought of writing when I was entertaining the idea. In fact it was more of a part of what would be in another story, not the story itself. I’m not writing in chapters and I’m making up some of it as I go along. When I’m working or relaxing, I have momentary mental dips into the world of HT – so I work on it even when I’m not writing. My mind is always processing, creating, coagulating (which my phone says is not a word.) While I’m not able to complete major mind jobs like multiplying 100 digit numbers, I can throw something smaller to my sub-conscious and get results later. This is very handy with remembering names from decades ago or planning projects. Sometimes I can’t come up with an answer to save my life. That’s where my sub comes in.

Anyway, HT is a story out of the world of that idea from long ago. The characters in this story did not exist until I started writing. This could be a prequel to what does happen or it might just be a trunk novel. I won’t know until I finish it.

When will it be written? Last year, when I was sifting through ideas to get my writing going, I decided I would write 3 stories before I started editing the first story. These were not all one type or length of story. Again, that may change depending on how long HT becomes and what the next story is and becomes.

I’m writing in spiral notebooks. I figure about 250 words per page. At 70 pages and writing on both sides, I’ll need at least 3 to get 80,000 words. When I type, I edit no matter what document it is. My plan with writing long-hand is to just write. Writing it out first lets me write without edit, get the ideas on paper. I double underline a word I know I want to change. It’s impossible to not edit as I write, but it’s mostly in my mind and keeping to scene changes or similar alterations. I leave notes about some changes in places where they’ll make sense.

The story, HT, now is different than when I started it (how the antagonist is very self-interested rather than benign to the protagonist, how three of the “bad guys” might not be bad after all, etc.) Significant changes have surfaced. The antagonist (who was not in this role when I started) has a different name, due to similarities to another story. Hunter, the protag, did not have a last name for the first 6 pages. His girlfriend did not have a name until I put her in the story. That’s the beauty, and sometimes downfall, of writing; it can be very fluid and in a state of flux until it is done. Until I get that routine, my writing will be very uneven and malleable. My days off are different from week to week so I blog and write as I get time.

I’m 19 pages in so just under 5,000 words, give or take. Some of my writing has been more, some less, than 250 words. Some has been blogging and a little bit of flash fiction. I don’t need an accurate word count because I’m just writing. I don’t have a deadline. I’m not writing for anyone but myself for now. I’m going to enjoy that freedom while I can. At some point, I’m going to have to bone up on my physics because the story is science fiction and the setting will leave Earth. At least that’s the plan after the huge explosion.

I’ll keep writing about writing. I think of it as journalling (another not-word) for this tale. In the meantime, I need to get back to that story.

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