The book now stands at 52,000 words - so I've passed the halfway mark and after two weeks of getting nowhere, momentum is picking up once more. I have adjusted my finish date though as I was spectacularly failing to reach my necessary word count and was getting down about falling behind. Why put the extra pressure on me when its hard enough writing a book? So now I'm hoping to finish by the 10th December which gives me a nice 1,000 words a day to write.
Still coughing but even that seems to be easing up now. I hope to be running again soon as I really miss it.
And on Friday we move into our new home. I lose my nice attic but have a small room to write in so all's good and its a much better space for the family. I hate moving but it will be worth it in the end.
Three year old son: "Daddy, you have toys. I have toys but Mummy doesn't have toys."
Me: "That's because Mummy is sensible."
Son: "Yes, Mummy's a grown up and we're babies."
Me: "Er... um..."
Over the last few weeks, I've been rereading Peter V. Brett's Demon Cycle, starting with the Painted Man. I love these books and still find them a lot of fun no matter how many times I've read them. I still have no idea why I bought The Painted Man. At the time I wasn't reading fantasy books - mainly crime novels and other thrillers but it came up on Amazon as part of a 'buy this' deal and I hit the click button. It was like someone had seen the stories inside my head and written something similar. I devoured it. It had everything - magic, monsters and mayhem. I think I made my first attempt to write a Nathaniel Rane story shortly after. It was a terrible thing that still lurks on my computer somewhere.
The Desert Spear came next and in a rather risky move, Brett concentrated the first half of the book on Jadir, one of Painted Man's antagonists, and in the process showed that in his own mind, he was just as much a hero. Brett's writing had improved drastically as well and was a sure sign of an author coming into his own.
It seemed a long wait for The Daylight War but again the wait was worth it. This time, Jadir's wife, Inevera, got the spotlight, again, turning a 'baddie' into a well-rounded character who was actually quite noble, risking all for the cause. It was a long read, covering a tight period of time from lots of perspectives, but hopefully not a sign of Brett hitting GRRM-like problems of too many characters to keep track of.
Book four arrives next year and, I for one, am counting the days until it arrives.
After making a blistering start to my book, I hit a wall over the last two weeks with almost no progress. Lots of reasons why but frustrating all the same. We had two pitches at work with all the aggro that comes from those - working weekends, late nights till 10, 11, even 1am. I also caught a cold to make it easier and ran a half-marathon woefully under-trained and coughing my lungs up from said cold. So I was mentally and physically tired and 'being creative' was the last thing I was capable of.
I started again this morning, after the first decent night's sleep that I'd had in two weeks. Up at 5am, in the dark, with a cup of tea, and headed off to meet my heroes on the Great Plains. Luckily enough they were still waiting for me. I've got lots to do if December 1st is still doable but I won't cry if it's not. Quality gets remembered. not speed.
It's been a slow progress week on the book - mainly due to being incredibly busy at work with two pitches (which involved working the weekend and many late nights) and also because on Sunday I'm running a half-marathon. However I've also been struggling with geography and have spent a horrible amount of time drawing maps trying to work out what's what. I've also been questioning why a group of characters would move to one place from another, particularly when it puts them in more danger. Its a solvable problem but one that's kinda put a bit of a halt on proceedings.
On the other side of the coin, I went to see Clint Mansell in concert at the Barbican on Tuesday and he was incredible. Listening to sweeping film scores really opened my mind up to new scenes and ways forward with the book. He's certainly come a long way from his days in Pop Will Eat Itself.
I write my first draft in Scrivener, a wonderful program designed for such things. It's so much better than Word in too many ways to go in to but I credit it for helping me write my first book after so many false starts. However its ability to count words, set daily targets and inform you of your deadline is one in particular I love.
The bar changes colour as you progress from an ugly red to a beautiful green as you near 'The End'. As you can see I had a good day today but it follows quite a few where I've fallen far behind. I'm insanely busy at work, my son's been sick, I've been sick, and to be honest I've been dead tired.
But this is where I have to dig deep. It isn't a hobby anymore that I can put away for a couple of days. I have to write and I must remind myself I'm better when i write everyday no matter how little I can get done.
Unlike running, I can write with a cough and cold. My keyboard doesn't complain when I cough all over it. And I have a coloured bar to keep happy.