Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

December Book

The December Book: Countdown, Day Seven

November 12, 2013 by Richard Wright in December Book, Journal, Writing

HumeUp at four this morning, to take an insanely excited Eva to the train station and send her on her school trip to… um… somewhere remote in the heart of India. Not really sure of the details. Um. I’m sure it will all work out.

Apparently there were four minor earthquakes in rapid succession centred on Delhi last night. Passengers at the station were abuzz with excitement about it all, so I read up when I got back in. Lots of people rushed out of their homes while I slumbered. I was particularly amused by one tweet from a guy who was woken by his room shuddering. His wife woke up too, and asked what was happening. As the walls shook and rattled, he checked his Twitter account before suggesting that it might be an earthquake…

Spent a little time this morning updating the website with details of Anthology Year II: Inner Demons Out. The book was released at Anthocon in New England over the weekend, and is now available in paperback through Amazon. It has my story ‘Bulimia Daemonica’ in it (more on that in a couple of days). While I’m writing this new novel, you should go and read it.

Today is set up to be an epic battle. Me and coffee vs. sleepiness. I’d like to be gung ho about this, but know myself well. Sleepiness often wins. I’m starting the day with 83,413 words complete on the first draft of The December Book. Today is when I hoped to reach 90,000, and to do that I would have needed 6587 new words today.

However, yesterday made it crystal clear to me that I’ve underestimated this book. It’s longer than 90,000 (at least in first draft – that’s probably not far off what the finished manuscript will be though). How much longer? I don’t know, but for the sake of playing with daily targets I’m going to assume the draft will now actually be 100,000 words long. I’ll give myself until Friday to get there. Scrivener, bless it, tells me I need to do 4416 new words today if I’m to meet that.

I’ll try to exceed that (although today I’m not sure I fancy my chances) in case I’m still not done by 100,000 words.

Right, best get started. This book isn’t going to write itself, you know.

Unless… is it? Has anybody ever actually tried that? Maybe I should…

Nah. That’s Captain Nap, whispering in my ear. Away with you, Captain Nap. I’ve a book to wrestle with.

09:15 – 10:30. 516 words. Not much done yet, as I had to start with a tremendous amount of reading. I’m picking and choosing from history, altering somethings, compressing others. My biggest problem is my 4 am start. My head is starting to swim. I’m going to relent and allow Captain Nap to have his wicked way with me. Half an hour. We’ll see if this improves things any.

I closed my eyes for half an an hour, and had one of those strange doze-dreams which are all faces and murmur. Got some fresh air and a coffee, and feel a little more human. Onwards.

11:45 – 12:30. 987 words (1516 total). Finding a little rhythm now, certainly for this mosaic chapter of conversations held in different rooms. Should be finished with this in the next session.

13:15 – 14:00. 662 words (2178 total). My problem today is not the book, it’s just me. I’m tired, and I keep finding easier things to do than make up new words. Time for a break and a coffee.

I had to tip that coffee down the sink. My body just doesn’t want it. It wants to zombify. If I get to the end of this chapter, another 500 words or so, I’m calling it a day and resting up for tomorrow. There’s no point laying junk words down, just to hate them later.

God, there’s nothing makes you feel old like failing to function properly because you’re tired. I want twenty year old me back.

14:15 – 15:00. 841 words (3019 total). And I’m stopping there. End of the chapter, and if I try to start  new one feeling like this I’m liable to do more harm than good. Off to relax, cook dinner, and have an early night.

I added a squalid 3019 words to The December Book today, far short of what I hoped. However, the manuscript is now 86,432 words in length, and despite everything I’m very much enjoying the telling. Before I got to bed I’m going to sit down and properly consider how many chapters are left, so I can make that estimated word count more accurate when I start again tomorrow.

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