61 Days – Have I learned anything?

A small check in to say that I’ve just hit 40k words on my longer project -OPERATION MEZZANINE.

I’ve been aiming to write 300 words every day as a very small and manageable goal to keep me sane as I work from home Monday to Friday.

But, roughly, I’ve managed about 655 words a day on average for 61 days.

Nyaaaatt bad.

Ran (1985) - Akira Kurosawa : CineShots
One of the many cool shots from ‘Ran’

I’d hoped to be a little bit further ahead by now, but no matter, the work is still alive and each day I’m finding something new to excite me about the project and writing, generally.

I’ve also had time to pen a couple of much smaller things and submit them. So it’s been a very productive time.

Here’s a couple of things I’ve learned writing half (I’d guess) of my novel over the last two months, in no particular order…

  • I like rough drafting scenes and then trying to fix them the next day. Fixing sentences and nuances every other day makes me a fan of what I’m actually writing. I feel less like I’m jumping from plot point to plot point and actually crafting a story someone other than me might enjoy reading.
  • Characters need to want something (yes) in every scene (pretty obvious, Johnny) but giving them a reason to not satisfy that desire for something else they hope is far better in the long run makes scenes spring alive. (I assume at this point every writing manual in the world is moaning a prolonged duhhhhhhhhhhhhhh… but shush.)
  • Making characters lie is fun.
  • Being cruel to my characters doesn’t come naturally to me… but the writing is much better when I do.
  • I don’t seem to work well on Thursdays…
  • But Mondays are my JAM!
  • If I don’t read something for more than a day I start to feel sluggish on the page. I can still write and I do but words/ideas/images don’t spring as quickly into my head.
  • If I don’t write for more than 2 days I become incredibly irritable and begin to question what even is the point…
Baltimore, Vol. 1: The Plague Ships by Mike Mignola
  • Every other week I become obsessed with a new writer, director, or musician and they are fuel to me. This past two months, among others I’m sure I’m forgetting, there’s been Denis Johnson, Akira Kurosawa, Mike Mignola, Thundercat, Joe Begos, Marlon James, Michael McDowell, Blake Butler, and this week China Mieville with an emerging appreciation for Jeff VanderMeer.

What any of this means is oblivious to me at the moment. But I’m looking forward to the next 40k or so more words.

Hopefully it won’t take as long.

2 thoughts on “61 Days – Have I learned anything?

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