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Seven Days Seventy Five Pages   Leave a comment



I’m approaching a point in time now where I need to have a structure to look at my book “at a glance” Basically, what I’ve discovered when writing a novel, is that you can plot it out and have an idea of where you want the story to go. You can dutifully expand on this structure and get a very solid outline of how the novel will sound and feel as you write it. It becomes and A to Z map of where the story will start and end. But inevitably, there will be bumps in the road depending on the motivation a character has, or the degree to which you will eventually agree with the character’s direction.

So i’m at 75 pages of this new project i’ve written that will be set in Japan and a part of me knows the next few steps, but I think all this writing has left me slightly burnt out. So i’m taking a day to just chill out. I’ve spent some time mapping and remapping aspects of the the book as it develops, but inevitably, I didn’t feel much like typing. This has happened to me before, and it’s a mixture of mental and physical fatigue. So generally, if I have a long stretch of incredible writing, i’m usually well rested and reasonably clear (although like many a writer i’ve pumped out 15 pages in a few hours after a hard night of partying). But with complex projects like this, I think that aspects of the story can burrow int your mind and cause certain doubts about the storyline and where its going. The more tired your body and mind is, the harder it is to write.

I tend to be sort of physical with my writing process… and i’m constantly jotting down notes on a pad, or pacing around referencing my “at a glance” system, which is just a sheet or two of cartridge paper with the direction of the novel laid out in tiny bubbles. When i’m feeling like i’m writing too much for a certain part of the book, or if I’m questioning what i’m doing too much, then I step back and look at the “big picture” to see if things fit.  Now this is a personal quirk of mine that i’ve always had to deal with. Sometimes I get too worried about the correctness of my story as i’m writing it.

I know that people can write a lot and then take out what you don’t need later on, but i hate writing stuff that I’m not going to use, so I try to be reasonably efficient. I prefer to add more later, than trim the fat. I guess its just how my mind operates. Or i could just be writing this blog post to blow off some steam and get away from the laptop for a bit. Regardless, hitting 75 pages this quickly only means that a part of the story up to this point has been quite clear, and depending on how I proceed from this point on, I might see a drop in the per page per day count if I am still struggling with certain directional hurdles.

Based on the outline i have of my book the project will be no less than forty five chapters, and i’m up to chapter 13, so there is a good bit of writing left to do. If I can keep this stride, then in two weeks I should be able to hit well over 120 pages. I’m already at 38,000 words in just a week, and i will hit 50K (minimal novel length) in no time. This isn’t really a race, but as i wrote in a previous blog, i’m going harder than usual with this project because I wanted to have two books out this year and I don’t want to be actively writing at the end of October. I want to be in revision and release mode.

At the very least, I feel that the voice of this project is interesting, and I feel that writing a novel set in Japan will be interesting to many of the people over the years who’ve asked me about life there, particularly life in Tokyo. I feel that if a story is burning inside you to tell, you should tell it. What’s interesting about this manuscript is that when I was in Tokyo I couldn’t write this. I was too busy at that time. Also, I didn’t want to write this book before I had finished “Sex, Drugs and Jerk Chicken”. Just a few days before I started this project, I felt like in many ways I was completely done with the preparation of that novel. I’d prepared the hardcover mansucript, I’d released patched up and slightly reformatted versions online, and I had a marketing plan and strategy mapped out. But what I didn’t believe, was that my first real published novel was the do or die test. All I knew was that, if I wanted to write anything else, I needed to get that one out of my system. So I did, and after releasing it, trying my hand a few book readings and spending more time than i’d like on re-editing and re-formatting for typos and so on, I could see that there was a future with another book in it. In fact, I was happy to start this book, because i’m one of those people that always has five to ten big ideas in me, and when they latch on to me, it is almost like being possessed. I can’t sleep, I focus only on that task and in a way it becomes my world.

So this is an exercise in getting it done rapidly, putting it out there, then releasing it so I can move on to the next one, whatever that is.

this is me blowing off steam



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