Listening to: Body Bag — Hit the Lights
Every (late) morning, I wake up thinking that I have a lot of writing to get done that isn’t going to happen. But it isn’t so. The thing is, pretty much of the time, my writing gets done between the hours of 23:00 and 6:00. Before I go to sleep. But then I wake up at 8 or 10, it feels like the day is just starting and I haven’t done anything yet. Rather than the truth, which is that I wrote at least 3000 words before I finally passed out. This has become the usual thing, I don’t know why I’m remarking on it. I should have realised by now that I am actually getting things done.
I have 75K words overall. Ten chapters, which might split up into around twenty because the way I write chapters has gone strange. One of the external conflicts resolved in the chapter I just finished, strengthening an internal one and further defining t’other.
This is definitely not the shortest amount of time I have taken to write a novel, but it feels different. Way more productive and fantastically consuming. I have books out from the library that I think I’ve had since June. I’ve got The Talon of the Hawk, which I’m actually really enjoying, sitting in front of me while I think about how to start Chapter 11.
I have a couple of major events left to write and then the ending, which is always the hardest part. I sketched out the notes I know that I need to hit, with questions answered (what the heck has Dov been doing for like an effing month? Why does Gideon heal so fast? Exile?) and the last conflict squared away in spectacular fashion that will take four major characters to accomplish.
Then I have to go back to each of my [Does sex happen here?] notes and decide if sex does indeed happen there. And write it. Which always takes me forever, because I’m a perfectionist and I have limited research material. Lol.
Question one might ask: why did I leave notes instead of writing the sex in the first place (and the second, and the third)? There are a lot of little answers. Aside from the fact that I hadn’t written a sex scene in… probably four to six years before this, the relationship burned a LOT slower than I expected. Several reasons for this. When I started, the characters definitely didn’t like each other much. Consent is super important to me (and I hope everyone), so I didn’t want any dubious moments or creepy pushiness. Early on, Gideon says outright that they aren’t going to sleep together–which is a perfectly natural thing to say when one enters into a fake relationship–and that made the sexytimes rather difficult to justify and place even as notes.
There are industry expectations (of which I am mildly aware) for sex scene steaminess and frequency. My own personal expectations have yet to be met. My notes look like mostly good places, especially since Hubby skimmed them and gave me his usual bemused thumbs-up.
But I want to relegate actually writing these scenes until right before revision. When the story is finished. Certainly not because I’m a prude. (Over in Nashville, Conrad is suddenly laughing and doesn’t know why) But because I’m learning how to be productive again. I know that working with an outline is technically easier and gives me more creative security than not having one. I also know that I work much much slower with an outline and that sometimes the illusion of being finished can garrote my projects. Also, writing endings is hard, even if I know how it ends.
I need to stay focused.
I’ve kept imprecise notes for the entire story. The majority have been dumped in favour of better ideas or because they didn’t work anymore, but they kept me interested. A lot of them belong to the story that I thought I was writing.
One of my earliest notes that I have kept this whole time is this: This is not turning out the way I expected. It is an entirely different beast. But I won’t turn it away. It’s my beast.
I’m not nervous. I’m working.