Saturday, August 25, 2012

I have a solid three chapters. I wish I had more, but I spent most of this week sick. Honestly, the kind of ill I haven't been since last Christmas. We had a killer cold go around our office, which I probably had the week previous to this but didn't succumb to until this week.

I am go, go, go and I will keep at it even when ill. It's something that happens when you freelance or work part time/contract positions—you learn to function without the luxury of sick days. Years later, it doesn't occur to me to go I am sick and I must stay home until I am unable to function. My level of unable to function is a considerably higher threshold than most.

This week has been a lot of not doing anything and taking care of myself first. I watched the last four episodes of season two of The Vampire Diaries, and will be ready for season three when it comes out on DVD. I read a few books, one that was good but ultimately couldn't hold my fuzzy-around-the-edges attention, one that was just more of the same, and one that kept me up much later than I intended to because I accidentally read it all in a single sitting.

Drafting, as a result, didn't really happen. I was able to reread the three chapters I wrote, and they're solid. They may not survive to a second draft, they can probably be better, but for what they and what they needed to do... they're good. Far less padded than I thought they were as I wrote them.

The draft has over 12,000 words and I'm debating if I continue or if I switch to drafting something else up to three solid chapters. There's a potential, as it has a solid outline, that it could be a proposal... but the idea of selling on proposal is both exciting and uncomfortable. With the right editor and collaborative atmosphere, a proposal book could evolve into something amazing. But the suspicion of selling a book to be one thing and realizing later that it's actually something else hovers at the edge of my mind.

Honestly, the outline is the most extensive I've done since The Tarot Cafe novel. But there's a character connection that bubbled-up during the first scene not in the outline. Do not let anyone convince you that outlining robs all writers of the thrill of discovery. As someone who used to say outline was a terrible thing, my experience is I didn't outline because I believed I had the luxury of eternity to finish writing the draft. I didn't have to know the plot; it could be discovered months later, because I believed I had months to find it. (Also, I wasn't trying to sell it to anyone.)

And there's nothing wrong with that belief. Writing is what works for you and gets the words on the page/screen/tablet. I have a friend whose process is to think out most of her draft before she commits to sentences. I throw words on a page, fast and move on, because I'm writing through the story as I go. Consequently, I do the majority of my work in subsequent drafts. Doing an outline create an opportunity to reduce the number of drafts.

Total: 12,807
Sample: The air is wrong when I come to; it smells of a party that ended too late for anyone to want to clean up. It feels like old money being wasted. 


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