Monday, May 2

A first novel: Push to the end

I have struggled with writing these past weeks. There are legitimate reasons. I need to complete a grant application this Friday, and there is still so much that needs to be done. I have spent the past three weekends out of Bozeman and away from my computer. In other words, I've been busy. It's an excuse, a lame and popular one. If I was dedicated, I could find an hour or two to write my two-thousand words, or fewer if I really were that busy. It wouldn't be hard.

But, of course, there are complications. The haphazard beginnings to my writing have come back to me. I have a list of events, I know what happens, yes, but the characters are too thin and flat, when they're not contradicting themselves, to support those endings. Motivation comes from my whim. The central thread of the story has been lost between sections. There are common characters between the parts, but the conflicts are entirely new and have little resemblance between them. I know how bad it is now, and it's hard to finish when I can imagine how much of it will change in the coming months. It doesn't seem worth my while.

However, having made these mistakes and trying out others that would have been far worse, I know how to correct them. I know what needs to change in the next draft to make it stronger over all. I know the research I need to do and what would make better foundations for the characters to develop from, but I am not going to make those changes now. Now I just want to finish this first draft. No matter how miserable it may be now, no matter how little of it will survive into the final piece, I just want it all together. I want to try a few more ideas to see if there is any merit whatsoever to them. It will be a whole, and I can understand that. I can work out from that. I can improve that.

Single-spaced pages with one-inch margins? One-hundred and thirty-two.
Words? Ninety-eight thousand and seven.
Named characters? Forty-five.

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