I crossed 100,000 words a while back. Then I crossed it going the other way, cutting out some garbage, and then crossed it again, barely.
Then I got stuck. Then I got sick. Now I’m back, having not looked at the book in many days.
Maybe it’s a good thing. I’ve been making notes on what to do next every night – the minutes just before falling asleep are especially fertile, when I’m too tired to actually get up and commit cool scenes to paper, but can at least make notes on my phone – and I never go more than an hour without thinking about the damn book.
It’s a mess. It’s supposed to be a mess, this is the normal process of writing, but never having actually crawled out of such a mess before, I’m flailing. I think what I needed most was just a little time away. Not guilt-free time, no. I wanted to have a full draft zero by the end of August, back in the halcyon days of July. And we’re over halfway through October and I don’t even have all the bits I need to make a coherent story out of this huge bolus of words.
But I’ve been taking care of kittens – the current crop is very cute but only one of the four has been adopted, and now they are slowly aging out of their adorability window, and I’m biting my nails about it. I’ve been reading – nonfiction, fiction, stuff about dogs, stuff about cavemen, who are not quite what I’m writing about but similar. Game of Thrones, for the hell of it, since that’s the enormous epic fantasy olivaunt in the room. I’m about a third of the way through A Clash of Kings and enjoying it well enough, though I know it’s going to just keep breaking my heart. I’ve been living, in a sort of limited, quiet way, which is all I can manage most days.
We saw Sweeney Todd downtown a couple weeks ago, and we’re leaving in a bit to catch Richard III. Every piece of media I consume is vacuumed up through my eyes and carefully turned over again and again, considered, weighed for its applicability to my own story. I don’t understand writers who say they can’t read while they write. This book will have a thousand influences by the time I’m done.