I’ve developed an odd habit of walking into book shops, grabbing the nearest sci-fi classic, reading the opening line and then hearing myself think.
‘That’s amazing, my entire book will never be anywhere near this level’.
I then place it back and walk away destined to continue the ritual the very next day.
Another 1000 words today in about a three hour stretch which takes the total overall up to 43,000. With that 3000 in the last few days making it the best run at this book since before Christmas last year. Most of what I’ve written seems like horrible garbage when read back but that’s for the edit later. The best thing at the moment is that I think there’s momentum back to it which I haven’t had for a long while.
I’m finding myself a little bit restricted as far as story goes by the fact this was originally intended to be a 90 minute movie. With that fact in mind I cut down on locations and characters and kept everything as small scale as I could. If this had any kind of a chance of getting made then I was very much writing on the cheap. I spend eighteen months of my life writing a historically accurate account of witch burnings that would be massively expensive for anybody to make to a presentable degree so I was trying to get this one a little bit more on a leash.
But then I had to go and change it to a book. It’s not something I regret mainly because when I do finish it it’ll be in the final form rather than needing to go off and film it. It has meant that I’m very much stuck with a certain reality though. When I’m writing about distant planets, spacecraft and crashed aliens under the waters on Scotland then it feels quite good. Then I spend the next chapter writing about a Mother’s loss as her only child goes missing and I find it really hard to convey that emotion without it sounding horribly twee. The two halves of this also sometimes don’t seem compatible with each other either which causes another problem.
Some moments though, only some, I can see it hanging together like the Twilight Zone episode I hope it’s going to be.
Another 1000 words today.
To be honest I’ve probably done more this week as far as word count goes than I did in the entire month before. Now that I’m over the middle section and can now see the ending looming over the horizon it’s much easier to work towards that.
I have to admit though that I only seem to have written notes for nineteen chapters back when I last tried to salvage this process a few months ago. Having completely lost that notebook until now I find myself writing chapter twenty eight. I still have no idea how this has happened.
When this first draft is complete there will be all kinds of hellish editing to do.
It’s been almost twenty years since I had my last year in secondary school. During that time I was mad/bored enough to take Sixth Year Studies English and a big part of the course was to write about a certain genre of book. Being as I was burying my head in Blade Runner, Akira and Ghost In The Shell at the time I picked sci-fi. If my memory serves me correctly I ended up doing an essay about ‘Brave New World’ by Aldous Huxley and ‘Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep’ by Philip K Dick (because Blade Runner). The essay itself was probably terrible but my main take away from the whole thing at the time was a long discussion about the definition of science fiction as a genre.
“Science Fiction can probably be defined as a warning against currently human behaviours as they reach their obvious conclusion”he said with confidence. I was eighteen years old and didn’t really have the tools to argue with a guy who knew way more about this kind of thing than I did.
“Just because you put little green men in a story does not mean it is automatically science fiction”.
This memory suddenly came bolting into my head today as this is pretty much exactly what I’ve done whilst describing my book as sci-fi. There’s not really any grand theme about taking a feature in society at the moment and putting that forward to the natural conclusion. The story itself is very much in the present day and doesn’t feature anything like a driverless car or genetically altered meat produce. It’s a small Scottish fishing town with a little green man hiding in it.
Have I been doing this wrong all this time?
Well that was a bit of an effort.
Today has been bright and sunny and I managed to get a bit of a sleep in today. The main aim was to finally haul this book over the 40,000 word mark and I’m happy to report that as of five minutes ago this was achieved. It has felt like absolutely ages.
I remember celebrating the 10,000 word count last year but I have to recollection of doing anything special about the 20k or 30k. Guiding the story for the last ten thousand words has been a slow process. Through a combination of other stuff going on and my own laziness it’s been going on since Christmas. I’m really happy about entering what could well be the final third. I think once I get to 55,000 then I should be just about okay. That feels like a decent first book length to work with.
I haven’t had a chance recently to sit down and write for an entire day. There have been written reports about wrestling to do and podcasts to prepare for. Pretty much all the stuff I do to give me a break from writing a book has taken over. I seem to have spent time writing a book to give me a break from watching and writing about wrestling. Strange how this pans out sometimes.
It was late on the other night and the rest of my family had all gone upstairs up to bed. I started my computer thinking I wouldn’t be able to write anything. ‘Even if I get a couple of paragraphs done then it’s a win’ I thought to myself. In the end I managed to get around 700 words done in about half an hour which was a surprise even to myself. It meant I was able to fit in a couple of hours gaming before bed so it was a positive result all round.
We’re closing in on the 40,000 mark, the final aim is 55,000. This middle part has probably been one of the hardest parts of written work I’ve ever done.