Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions

Journal

The 20 Day Novel: Day 11

Game-of-Thrones-Season-3-game-of-thrones-33779432-1600-1200This morning I have a Game of Thrones hangover, which is the thing that happens when you spend two nights in a row deliriously catching up with a season of GoT. It seems like a good idea at the time, and the more you imbibe the harder it is not to have ‘just one more’ before calling it a night. Then, the following morning, the consequences catch up with you…

I really, really love Game of Thrones. The books, the show, the soundtrack. Everything about it makes me happy. Although it does make me look at the limits of my own storytelling and want to weep. It’s good to have things to aspire to, I suppose.

Speaking of which, The 20 Day Novel is currently 35,026 words long. I took an enormous risk on Friday, and spent most of the day plotting and thinking instead of writing. It might be that this makes the next few days at the keyboard easier, as I spend less time wondering ‘what happens next’ and more time putting the words down. Or, I might never recover, and get to day 20 with only half a book. Exciting!

I’m glad I did step back for a day, though. It turns out that what was turning into the main plot is actually only a diversion from the principal story – a sort of feint. I didn’t know that, and if I’d kept writing before it dawned on me then I would have been doing a tremendous amount of deleting and rewriting whenever I finally realised.

Scrivener is pleading – pleading – with me to complete an entirely intimidating 7049 words today.

Scrivener is mental.

10:35 – 11:35. 905 words. A good start to the day, all said. Poor Ro. She’s not in the job for 48 hours, and she’s already been interrogated and detained. Now she’s about to be haunted too. I’m not going to tell her what the final act of the book has in store for her. That would just be cruel. Off for some fresh air, then I’ll come back and finish off her chapter.

12:00 – 13:00. 932 words (1837 total). That chapter has closed. The next one is supposed to be Scott’s (formerly known as Grant until this weekend), but I’m going to jump ahead and write on with Ro for a bit. For now, another break and possibly a trip to the shop.

Kirsty is off work for the next few weeks, and having somebody to chat to when I take a break is dangerous… I also got distracted admiring her new Kindle, even though it’s exactly the same model as mine. I like toys.

Anyway, back to it.

14:30 – 15:25. 912 words (2749 total). That session was a nightmare. No, really. An actual nightmare sequence, based on the nightmare Kirsty described to me this morning. It works well on the page (most dreams don’t). Long may my wife be visited by interesting night terrors.

Quick break, back soon.

16:05 – 1700. 767 words. (3516 total). Things aren’t going too badly, but I’ve still a lot of ground to cover. Still in writing mode though, so there’s opportunity yet. I should go and sort out dinner. Some things need to be mutilated and soaked in the juices of other things, so that they will be tastyballs later on.

I should write cookbooks, me.

18:00 – 18:45. 827 words (4343 total). And we’re at the end of the chapter. I’ll start a new one after dinner, but am definitely not going to hit my (admittedly stupidly ambitious target today. Oh, balls.

On the plus side, this particular chapter is incredibly creepy. Really. It has spooked me a little bit, even though I know what happens next. Good stuff.

Ah! Scrivener miscalculated! I don’t know what changed, but it now says I only have to do 6527 words today! I’ve rechecked, and that seems to be right. I have never been happier to have a bit of software play up on me…

19:00 0 19:30. 600 words (4943 total). Pleased with that. Still skipping Scott’s chapters to follow along with Ro for a bit (Charlie, alas, is no longer a POV character…). Seems to be working okay. Off to make stuff sizzle, then put it in my facehole.

20:00 – 21:00. 902 words (5845 total). Okay, a natural break in the chapter and I’m done for a while. Going to go and watch some DVDs and unwind. I’ll come back later on and deal with the last 700 words of the day.

21:15 – 21:45. 748 words (6593 total)Nope, scratch that. I was too close to being in the black to stop there, so cam back and journeyed on. Now I really am going to stop. It’s ridiculously close to the end of the chapter, but I’m not going on just now.

Target achieved for the day. 6592 words done, and the manuscript stands at 41,315 words in total. The psychological gap between 6500 and 7000 words is immense. 7000 felt completely unachievable, and I nearly quit earlier today when I realised how far off it was. Take just 500 words from that tally though, and I pushed on and made it.

Now it really is time to wind down. See you in the morning.

While I’m writing this novel, I’m also preparing to release another called The Flesh Market towards the end of January 2014. A story of science, murder, obsession, and the walking dead, the book creeps between the slums of 19th century Edinburgh and the ivory towers of its academia. In the next few weeks, well before the book is released, I’ll be giving everybody signed up to my email newsletter a free ebook copy for their Kindles, Nooks, smartphones, etc. At the top right of this page is a ‘Newsletter Signup’ box. Stick you’re email in and you’re done. Your details will never be passed on, to anybody, ever. Thanks!

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