I joined a group on Twitter. #write2theend. A bunch of us are committed to finishing our WIP by August 31. This was my original goal, but it's nice to have a common goal and a cheering section. It's also good to have that kind of accountability. While I don't have trouble with self-imposed deadlines, this SOLID GOAL has forced me to evaluate where exactly I am in the book and how much more I should be writing. Because, if allowed, I would write one story forever and ever (as you know if you've read the first few versions of JALR).
So I checked word count (something I never do) and ABOVE THE WAVES is about 2/3 complete. I need to keep the rest under 30K words. For me this is tough, wordy girl that I am. But okay. I sat down and committed to diving into the heart of the story. No more messing around. No more setting the tone. As Flight Of The Concords would say, "It's business time." And it's worked.
I'm into the book. Immersed. I am writing and writing, spilling guts and emotionally exhausting myself, crying along with my character, and generally absorbed in the story. It's the most fun.
It's also the most challenging.
It's challenging because this is the point where the book becomes itself, it takes on life. It's not always the life I had anticipated.
I am not an outline writer. I am not a synopsis first, query first writer. I know everyone says you should be. That it keeps you focused and on the path. Yeah, that's just not for me. I begin each book with a premise and a main character. Generally I have a good idea of the ending, just not the specifics. I write and allow it to unfold on its own.
It works for me. But it can be tough at times. Like now, for instance. I'm in the thick of the story and, surprise! One of my minor characters has blown up and become a huge deal in the life of my MC, Amanda. I didn't see it coming at all, but now that it's here, it's so right. The only thing is, now I have to figure out how to resolve his story in a way that makes sense for my ending. Because I know where that is, and he's not there.
I'm not worried. I have a couple options floating through my head and I'm taking a crap ton of notes. I'll figure this out. (Gah, and in less than 30K~ insert grimace here.) In the meantime, I have a steady diet of running, coffee, wine, music and naps. My poor kids have a steady diet of TV, mac and cheese, and chicken nuggets. The house is an unholy mess and something smells. I don't think it's me, but I won't bet against it.
Listening to: Knapsack "This Conversation Is Ending Starting Right Now"
~BTW, you are not allowed to tease me because I listen to the same things over and over~