It’s March 1st, which means time to report in on the WIP. I had high hopes of finishing this draft by today. Yeah, that didn’t happen, but it was still a pretty good month. Here are the stats…
Last report wordcount: 32, 156
Current report WC: 54, 754
WIP Issues This Month:
My characters somewhat derailed the neat little outline I had to take me to the 60k finish line. I’ve been stuck at a certain point in the story because what I thought was the climax might actually be more of the second turning point, which means the 60k finishing line might be pushing it. I think there’s more story to tell here and I have to give my characters the space to do it. This story started out as a quiet, quirky romance but has evolved into a fully-fledged sci-fi novel and because of that I have to abandon the original ending I had in mind and figure out something new. Hence, I’m stuck until some fresh inspiration strikes.
Four things I learned this month in writing:
1. My characters are stubborn and independent and do not appreciate my authorial interference cramping their style.
2. Outlines are bound to be ignored and I will have to rely on thumb-sucking to get my characters out of tight corners.
3. Pantsing presents unique problems. Figuring out something new and shiny in the plot at 50k had a ripple effect and required some serious editing from chapter 1, which I had to do before I could move on with new scenes. The lack of continuity upset me too much to ignore and come back to later.
4. The days when I have tons of time to write are inevitably spent staring blankly at the flashing cursor and will result in more words deleted than written. The days when I have to squeeze writing in between day job stuff is when I am most productive. I write better under constraint. I’m going to try to use this to my advantage in the future.
What distracted me this month while writing:
Shiny new ideas. I want to finish this WIP now so I can move onto another novel, which I’ve already been working on – jotting down snatches of dialogue and outlines of scenes etc.
Also, my new obsession. A high school sci-fi show about aliens called Star-Crossed! I blame the awesomeness of the Atrians for the sudden appearance of something intergalactic in my own WIP – although in a very, very different context 😉
And… I’m having trouble with the title for this ms. Originally it was titled Postcards from Mars. Now I’m thinking Scardust might be more appropriate and less esoteric. What do you think?
Goal for next month: Finish this novel! I’ve got about 10-20k to go – revised estimate – so I’m almost there if I could just figure out how to end this convoluted story.
Head-in-the-clouds goal: Finish this novel and be satisfied enough to send it out to betas.
Down-to-earth goal: Realistically, it’ll probably need to sit for a bit and get another round of revisions before I give it to anyone else to read. Figure out what to name this story!
Last 200 words: A little over 200 words and surprisingly un-spoilery considering how close to the end this is…
I follow Crow out of the lab. He stops before stepping into the corridor and stares, bewildered, at the carnage.
“Did I do this?” He rakes trembling fingers through blood clotted curls.
“I think so.”
“I don’t remember it.” There’s a quaver in his voice and I know how he must feel, that sick twisting in the gut of knife-blade guilt when presented with the reality of becoming a monster. As much as I might’ve enjoyed smashing Wayne’s head in for what he did to me, part of me hated what that made me. Almost murderer. Better than actual murderer. But this wasn’t Crow’s fault. They never should’ve messed with his head in the first place.
“Probably a good thing you don’t. Let’s go.” Go where? A million questions hurtle through my thoughts like a meteor shower, leaving craters in my mind, pockmarked voids in my logic and understanding.
Crow picks his way around puddles of blood and calls the elevator.
“Should we get Ida?” I ask as we step through the doors.
“I don’t trust her.” Crow hits the button for reception. “Let’s just get the hell away from here, before they call in the cavalry.”
The elevator opens on a thicket of fire power. Weapon-bots focus their lasers on our chests. Human soldiers fan out across the lobby in full riot gear and at the front of the formation, Preston wields a semi-automatic.
“Hey, boys.” She smiles. “Going somewhere?”
And that’s it for the month of February. How did you do?