Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

December Book

The December Book: Countdown, Day Five

November 8, 2013 by Richard Wright in December Book, Journal, Writing

Back CloseBefore I went to bed last night I embarked on a rewatch of Game of Thrones season one. Taking an hour or so to unclip myself from the book seems to have helped me sleep a bit. I’m tired, but at least I stayed down for the night. I was up at half past seven this morning, and as usual I pottered, bid the ladies of to school/work, and started to think about the day.

I’m beginning with 73, 328 words on The December Book. Scrivener tells me I have to write 5557 words to stay on target and hit 90,000 words by the end of Sunday. Alas, Scrivener doesn’t know that I won’t get any writing done tomorrow afternoon, as we’re all off out to see Thor. We’ll be watching it in 3D. At the thought of Thor in 3D Kirsty makes unusual noises in her throat. I don’t think she’s imagining the same thing I am.

Anyway, that puts pressure on today and Sunday, as I’m unlikely to get anywhere near my word count tomorrow. I’m also feeling more than usually stressed about the next two chapters I need to write. Between them, they cover a great deal of known historical detail, and are effectively the climax of the novel. Basically, I have to get these right. With luck, I’ll break the back of them over the next few hours, and in a perfect world they’ll be done by sundown.

Before I get started though, I’ve a half hour of reading to do. That pesky historical detail…

Hm. A bit of a delay getting started. I encountered the writer’s worst nightmare – coffee deficit. A walk to the shop and a lungful of lovely fresh smog, and I’m back. Coffee is on hand. A sealed mug of mint tea is aside for later. Time to start. It begins with a cry of ‘Murder!’

10:45 – 11:30. 874 words. We’re off. The scene is ripping along, though it’s a frantic business. I’m already streamlining the history, picking and choosing what I need and discarding the rest. History is messy. I shall tidy it up.

Ack. An invitation to meet Kirsty, Steve and Neha (hello Steve and Neha) for lunch. I should have said no, but I didn’t. Now I’m properly on the back foot for the day. Many words to go. Last night’s pie has enough left of it to eat tonight too, so with not having to finish up and cook I may still get away with it…

I like pie.

13:30 – 14:45. 1115 words (1989 total). That’s a bit better. Still a lot of catching up to do though. As for the scene… it’s different from what I expected, smaller somehow. I don’t know yet whether I’m okay with that or not.

Needed to step away from the keyboard for half an hour. I’m not happy with this scene, which is why I keep running away from it. Think I’ve worked out why, a few things to be switched around. I’ll push on now and see what happens.

15:30 – 16:15. 468 words (2457 total). Chapter done, at the kind of tentative crawl that demonstrates just how unsure I am about that one. Any intent I had to exceed today’s target has evaporated. At this stage, I doubt I’ll get there. Going to stretch, and think through the next chapter. It’s just as critical as the one I’ve finished today, but no more sorted in my head.

I’m running a bath. I can’t get my head around the sequence of events that leads from plot point A to plot point B, and I’m not even sure which character I should be following into this next chapter.

Nope. I’m calling it a day. This is at least a three pipe problem. I’m wasting time staring at a blank screen, and that’s exactly what I don’t need to be doing. I declare Friday an honorable failure.

UPDATE: The bath helped. I’m back at the keyboard, working through this sad and wretched chapter.

18:00 – 18:40. 615 words (3072 total). It’s a bit more static than I’d like, too much exposition and not enough action. I can fix that later. I may have one more blast left in me. No, I’m done. I’ve finished one section and know how to start the next. That’s a good place to begin tomorrow.

That being said, 2457 words were added to The December Book today, and the total stands at 75,792. I’m still a very happy boy.

3072 words done in the end, and The December Book is 76,400 words long and growing. Today was frustrating, and tomorrow is also going to be a mixed bag as the afternoon is wiped away before I even begin. I may be looking at running into Monday with this.

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