Day 8 – List your current, most up-to-date word count. Are you satisfied with your progress thus far?
I am currently at 15,684 words.
Today I wrote 0 words. Zero. Nada. Zip. Nil. Náid. Ноль. Sıfır.
No, that’s a lie. I did write today, I just didn’t write any of my story.
Why? Well, I sat down and thought, “Where am I going with this?” Because I discovered that I wasn’t making much sense, and – to paraphrase Tom Clancy (and Mark Twain, Lord Byron, and GK Chesterton) – the difference between fiction and reality is that fiction must make sense.
Plus, I don’t like how I’m writing it. It’s not me. I’m just spitting the words out, I’m not actually working through it. I feel like I’m writing an instruction manual – just the main points so that the events are in order, but I haven’t allowed any – any description or development, and suddenly I have a character saying or doing something, and I don’t know why. I want to shake him (or her) and say, “Why are you being so darn difficult? You’re like a child.” It’s exhausting, writing.
So today, I took out my notebook, and I wrote out how I envisioned my current story. I was disgusted with it.
There was no strong antagonist, no character development, and definitely no interesting climax. The characters I found the most interesting were gratuitous to the story I was focusing on. The antagonists I did have (or had at least planned on having) were boring and flat. I resented them.
It’s very weird having arguments with made-up characters in your mind. I feel like I’m trapped in Stranger Than Fiction.
And when I finally decided that I absolutely hated the direction my story was going in, I stopped and had a good and long think about how I could salvage all of this. I think – I think, I’ve got something.
And there is an antagonist. And there is plot, even suspense. The climax needs a little more tweaking but at least it’s there.
I even have a death planned. (I have no idea why I’m so keen to kill someone off.)
I’ve written a character out and redefined other characters. I’ve made things much more simple.
Tomorrow, I’ll continue. Tonight, I’m going to mull over my characters some more. Get to know them. They’re quite lovely – well, some of them.
Good God, I sound absolutely bonkers.