Whew. So I’m still exhausted from that final push to finish Amity. Writing the climax of the book seriously wiped me out. I actually had to stop for a break before I could write the epilogue. Whatever things I may ever doubt about my writing, the intensity of that chapter will never be one of them.
Word counts. It’s an inexact science for my first drafts, since it’s all ink and dead trees. What I’ve done is count out how many words I write onto one page of my notebook. The low average is 225/page, so that’s what I base all my word counts on. So, in the five weeks from Halloween to my birthday, I got just shy of 30k. The estimate of Amity start to finish is 80k.
I am proud of that 30k. It’s no NaNoWriMo pace but guess what? I have a day job and a wife and an infant. I had my most productive month of writing ever and I didn’t neglect a single thing that’s truly important. Well… I don’t really consider my day job important. The paycheck is. I didn’t neglect anything essential. I even managed to get can’t-move-off-the-couch sick for three days. Still finished the book. And I got it pegged on a deadline of my own making. That’s huge for me.
I’m proud of a lot of the words I’ve written. But there are as many parts that I know will need work, that’s how the craft goes. I know when I went back to type the first two chapters a few months ago because I had some impatient beta volunteers, I looked at the opening and went “Holy hell I can do better than that.” I lopped off two or three K and rewrote the intro. So there’s that. I fully intend to get this into a state where it will see the light of day. I certainly didn’t spend all that time on Amity so it could sit in the bottom of a drawer.
But there’s more to do than pushing forward with Amity. Frankly, I need a bit of a break to let it marinate. I’ve got a dozen beta readers on board for when I type it all into the computer and end up with Version 1.5.
I’ve still got some places to shop around the elf drug dealer story. Ever since I did the rewrite on it, that one is long enough to qualify for other markets. I’ve also become fascinated with those characters and have another story about them in the works. I’ve got a smattering of blog posts to do too. Only a couple of them are Things I’ve Read Posts because, well, my reading and writing time are often one in the same so not much read last month. But I promise I’ll finally write up thoughts on Even White Trash Zombies Get the Blues. I’ve also got notes all over the place for the more Thoughts on Things Posts, which people seem to like. Since this website will be almost a year old at New Year’s, it’s also going to be my “Hey it’s not that cheezy” excuse to do a year endy type post. I’ve also got plans to reach out to some people for a cool blog type project.
Oh and did I mention I started my next novel already?
Yeah that happened. I’ve started in on the notes and outline stage of the Connecticut godpunk book about punk rocker Cole Rake.
I read a post (I’m pretty sure it was on Ink Punks) about how Zelazny liked to write short stories about his characters before writing his novels. Take them for a test drive. That’s absolutely something I’m going to do for the next one. It will be a short story that doubles as a chunk of Cole’s backstory.
I do have ideas for a sequel to Amity but I think a change of gears is in order. The characters from the godpunk have infested my head for a while and need to be written.
Those are my plans to grab hold of the momentum and not let go. It’s a thing.