Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


The 20 Day Novel: Day 13

KeyboardThis week is like some weird endurance event where you’re allowed to sit down for most of the time. I’m running out of things to use for photographs at the top of these entries because this is all I ever see.

After sleeping until nine, I stumbled out of bed, ignored the fact that my kettle now turns water a funny colour and made coffee, then choked down a couple of granola bars for breakfast.

Today Scrivener politely suggests that I complete 6479 words before I go to bed. The 20 Day Novel is now 48,164 words long, and I’ll pass the halfway mark at some point today. If you missed the start of this while thing, I decided at the start that the novel will be 100,000 words long. I plucked the figure out of thin air, based on the fact that the novel I finished in November is roughly that length. If this book finishes before that, that’s fine by me. If it’s longer, that’s fine too.

Halfway sounds good. I like halfway. Let’s do that now.

11:00 – 12:00. 662 words. Another slow start. It took me ages to work out how to get this chapter pointed at the conclusion it needs to have. An unexpected phone call has sorted it. Need to go to the shop now, and when I get back I should be able to finish this one off in one go. Wish I could say the same about the whole novel.

13:00 – 14:15. 772 words (1434 total). That chapter was a real struggle. Getting from one end to the other was like wandering through a pitch black hall, knowing there’s a door somewhere on the other side. Lots of dead ends and things to stumble over. What comes next though is exciting. The chapter ended just before the bit I really want to write. I’m going to leapfrog Ro today, and get straight back to Scott.

14:30 – 15:05. 712 words (2146 total). The oddest thing just happened. From nowhere, one of the characters referenced the Cadaver Riots, which take place in my next novel The Flesh Market. It’s history, from his point of view. Then the climax of Hiram Grange and the Nymphs of Krakow got thrown into the mix. Neither matter in the scheme of things. They’re cited as example of odd happenings that have happened right under humanity’s nose. I could have made up some new ones, but what the hell. It seems to work. Might be a bit indulgent. I’ll see how I feel when I edit.

Oh – and that’s me at the halfway point. Hurrah!

15:30 – 17:00. 1155 words (3301 total). There is sexual tension in this chapter. Also a kidnapping. it is important not to get confused when jumping between them.

17:30 – 18:30. 744 words (4045 total). A hostage situation, with police in attendance. I’ll need to do research in a bit, and make sure I’m not getting all this wrong.

Right, time to go and make dinner things occur.

Lambs are brilliant, aren’t they? Cute and tasty. I wish all food made you go ahhhh and hmmm at the same time.

Over dinner, I decided to stop for the day. I’m exhausted, and if I push on I’ll be up until two again. Time to wind down a little. I’m still staying with the novel, plotting things out. This next bit is fiddly, and it will be easier writing if I do some planning. Again, I’m storing up trouble for tomorrow, as my missing words have to be made up somewhere. C’est la vie.

I did 4045 words today, bringing the manuscript up to 52,189. I should be more worried than I am, I feel…

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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