Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


The 20 Day Novel: Day 12

AdventIs it Xmas yet? I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to a break more in my life. Dayjobbery was easy, compared to this. Turn up, to work, go home, forget about it.

I still know which I prefer, though.

I slept far too late this morning, and still woke up tired. This novel has my whole schedule out of whack. My usual running regime has collapsed completely, I’m chain smoking harder than I ever have, and I’m staying up way too late (if I finish writing late I feel compelled to ‘wind down’ instead of just jumping straight into bed as I should – this can take hours). Frankly, I’m a bit of a wreck. I need to sort those things out fairly promptly, as they all combine to make me feel old and broken. Not the best way to stumble through a novel. As vicious circles go, it’s not the worst., and the end point is in nine days, when I fly off for sunnier climes. If I can get this current novel done, I might even be able to switch off and not spend the whole holiday thinking about what happens next…

At the moment The 20 Day Novel is 41,525 words long, and Scrivener thinks I need to write 6520 words today to keep myself in track. Yesterday, Scrivener told me a whopping lie, and only coughed up to it late in the day. If you can’t trust Scrivener, what can you trust? Eh? What can you trust?

11:00 – 11:50. 409 words. After spending so much time with Ro yesterday, I’ve backtracked and re-read Scott’s last chapter. I’ll try to stick with him today. Words so far come from changes and additions to that previous chapter, so I’ve yet to start the new stuff.

Which you’ll have to find out later, because the interweb is down again. Actually, why am I even telling you that? You’re not there.

12:00 – 14:00 (with break for coffee). 1148 words (1557 total). A really slow start, on a day when I’m already beginning late. I’m picking up speed now. Ro and Scott’s sections are completely different, and it’s taking me some time to unstick myself from one and glue myself to the other.

Which is a really strained metaphor. Also, possibly a bit pervy.

I need new coffee now.

And while coffee arrived, the first pre-reader comments came in for The Flesh Market. They’re exciting, but I’m going to try and put them aside for later. Don’t want to get de-railed. If you’re interested in The Flesh Market, check the spiel at the bottom of this page and I’ll give you a free copy, soonish.

15:00 – 16:15. 1350 words (2948 total). To my absolute delight, Findo Gask has just turned up in this story. There are only a handful of people alive with any idea why this delights me. Anyway, that chapter is done now. I have been tasked with going out to fetch meat for the dinner. I will collect my bow and arrows from the hallway cupboard and sally forth.

There is a meat selling man who now sets up shop near our residence here in Delhi once a week. Long queues of drooling ex-pats, all but forced to survive on a thousand things to do with chicken for months, gather at the aroma of blood. Some strip naked and smear themselves with it as they reach the front of the queue. Others slap each other playfully with entrails. It’s all rather fun.


17:00 – 17:50. 629 words (3577 total). Break time. I’m not enjoying this new chapter. Scott is sitting down and thinking about things. He needs to get off his backside and do something.

18:20 – 18:50. 445 words (4022 total). There is now a game of charades in this novel. When I wanted Scott to get up and do something, that wasn’t what I was hoping for.

And I’m going to break there. Dinner calls.

21:15 – 22:50. 1219 words (5241 total). People have stopped playing charades now. Thank goodness. I had no idea how Bernie was going to cope with Being John Malkovich. I want to stop for the day but I’m too close to my target to write it off as a loss. I’ll take ten, then come back and see what I can do.

23:30 – 01:45. 1608 words (6849 total). A painful and sleepy crawl to victory. Words achieved. Bloody knackered now.

So, today I managed 6849 words. The book is 48,164 words long. I’m holding the line, but it’s by the skin of my teeth.

Tomorrow is going to be painful.

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 your email in and you’re done. Your details will never be passed on, to anybody, ever. Thanks!

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  1. maryrajotteDecember 10, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    I completely relate to the ‘winding down’ aspect. Happens to me every night, which means 2 or 3 a.m. bedtimes and a grumpy non-morning person the next day. Either way, maybe the fresh supply of meat and meat products will help you get through. Just watch out for those entrails 😉

  2. Richard WrightDecember 10, 2013 at 10:33 pmAuthor

    Shall do!

    Frustrating though, isn’t it? Even winding down feels stressful, because you know it’s pounding on your next day. Must… find… third… way…

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