I’ve spent the last week dogsitting my sister’s Irish Wolfhound/English sheepdog mixes, Sookie and Elrod. They’re two gentle giants who would—probably—leave the house alone if left to their own devices, but I feel obligated to hang out with them and make sure they feel comfortable.
Since dogs primarily spend their day sleeping, hanging out implies sitting and watching them sleep…or getting some writing done. So, I’m getting a lot of writing done. As luck would have it, I’m trying to bang out Signs, the 3rd in the Marty Singer series (the first, A Reason to Live is out now. The sequel, Blueblood is with my editor and should be out in August), so the semi-enforced writing retreat is helpful.
Despite the good work, however, putting down tens of thousands of words is a long slog, no matter how you look at it. You need milestones to keep you going. I thought I’d take a minute and reveal my own thinking as I strive for, hit, and surpass the various word counts that make up a first draft.
Awesome! I’ve started. Only 74,900 to go.
First page, done. What’s the big deal?
Chapter One. I’m on my way!
This would make a decent short story. Maybe I could pack it in here.
This would make a lousy short story.
Novella length. People would pay $.99 for a novella, I bet.
I don’t even know where I’m going with this. Why didn’t I outline?
Almost halfway. You mean I have to do this much writing again?
Huh. A 65,000 word novel is about 250 pages. Which means I’m actually two-thirds done. (*where I’m at now*)
Who the fuck signed me up for this?
There’s…a light up ahead. I can see it. It’s getting brighter. It’s so…beautiful. [sobbing]
The last twenty thousand words make no sense. I think I was asleep when I wrote them. There’s a whole page of the letter “d.”
I can taste it.
One chapter? That’s it? Let’s do this!
Sweet Jesus, I made it.
Time to start the rewrite.
Happy writing, everyone!