Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

December Book

The December Book: Countdown, Day Four

November 7, 2013 by Richard Wright in December Book, Journal, Writing

Edinburgh CastleAnother wretched night’s sleep, despite feeling so zonked when I hit the pillow that I was sure I’d be unconscious in seconds. It’s probably no coincidence that this is happening as the last parts of this novel hove into beauty. It’s naturally exciting, and scenes and characters keep buzzing through my head whether I’m at the keyboard or not. I adjusted my alarm from 06:00 to 07:30, and eventually nodded off.

Woke up feeling grainy this morning. Coffees happened, and something with cheese. My internet connection is playing up so I swore at it for half an hour. That seemed to do the trick. It’s grey outside. After so long in Glasgow it doesn’t feel right to call this cold, but it’s certainly ‘not warm’. If it gets much not warmer, I may even have to consider long sleeves.

I’m going to make another coffee, and finish off the chapter I worked most of the way through yesterday afternoon. That should open things up for day, and get me kick started. I’m starting the day with 67,536 words done on The December Book, and Scrivener tells me I need to find 5616 words today if I’m to meet Sunday’s target of 90,000 words total.

Let’s get started.

10:15 – 10:55. 853 words. This chapter’s refusing to do the decent thing and end. I sense hacking edits in the near future. Off to make coffee, then straight back.

11:10 – 12:35. 1204 words (2057 total). Chapter finished, some background reading to set up the next, and on. Going to stretch and walkabout now. I’m cramping in strange and uncomfortable places…

Remembered to eat, but not eat well. Also occurred to me that I need to find something for dinner tonight, so rushed out to buy some lamb mince. I think a pie-based something is likely to occur. Bumped into people at the shop, but they probably didn’t get much sense out of me. 19th Century Edinburgh is a lot more real to me at the moment than 21st Century New Delhi, and the people I’m writing about are much more real than anybody around me. Harsh, but true. You can tell the end of this book is in sight.

Also occurred to me to shave. Was starting to look like an aging undergraduate hippy. Back to it now.

 13:40 – 14:50. 1466 words (3523 total). And another chapter finished. I knew what happened in this chapter, but not how it would be told. I like the solutions that are presenting themselves. So far, they’re ‘neat’ without being tricky or complicated. Time to stretch and pace about a bit.

14:50 – 15:30. 441 words (3964 total). Ah, the students. I like the students. They make their own words up. At the moment they’re shouting at each other. Am going to get some fresh air and think up some new insults to give them.

A well timed break. Eva came home from school in the middle of it, abuzz with the joys of poetry. Apparently she started a new poetry module today, and absolutely loves it – especially writing it. Haven’t seen her so excited about anything from school for a long time (not to say she doesn’t like school – she does, but this has her on cloud nine). Her first attempts at poems are good too. All sorts of interesting images and stuff. Being me, I’m obviously delighted that literacy is now her favourite subject. I await the crushing disappointment of watching the school system batter her enthusiasm away over the coming months and years…

17:00 – 18:00. 1467 words (5431 total). I actually wrote for longer, but the time was broken up with bits of family business. The student scene has taken my breathe away. It’s not often that I write something that thrills me as it’s happening, but this did. One of those scenes where a mentor challenges a student with everything at stake, and the student rises up despite their doubts an exceeds all expectations. Okay, so it sounds cheesy put like that, but it’s a lovely, rewarding thing to write. Again, I’m surprised. The point of view character is the same secondary one I elevated the other day, and I’m so glad I did. He’s developed a journey all his own. I have the track ‘Mother of Dragons’ on repeat this chapter. It’s a piece of escalating drama, that releases in grandiose triumph. Perfect. I’m not quite done with the chapter, but I have to go and put a pie in the oven.

That’s not a euphemism for anything, though I confess it reads like. I’ll be back while it cooks, to try and finish this scene off.

Pie made and cooking. Twenty minutes or less to glory.

19:35 – 19:50. 361 words (5792 total). And that chapter’s a wrap. Lovely stuff, exactly the sort of thing that makes me want to write in the first place.

Today I added 5792 words to The December Book, bring the total word count up to 73,328 words. A brilliant day at the keyboard, and my favourite (and totally unexpected) chapter of the book in the bag. I have to confess though, I’m wiped, and it’s probably the book that’s doing it. I’m really enjoying working this way though.


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  1. maryrajotteNovember 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks for continuing to share your process! Enjoying reading your posts.

  2. Richard WrightNovember 8, 2013 at 9:38 amAuthor

    Glad to hear it – thanks for following along!

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