It happened last Saturday and I didn’t even realize it. It happened early in the day on what turned out to be a marathon writing morning of 3300 plus words. It happened on the day we were planning a party for a bunch of family members to celebrate my oldest son’s graduation from high school.
I passed 175,000 words. The halfway point to my goal of writing 350,000 words of new fiction this year (not including editing other stuff I’ve already finished).
After the week I had – I ended up with four short story rejection notices in a three day period, a personal record – I slipped right back into writing. It helped that I got a surprise personal note of encouragement on twitter from another writer, someone I didn’t know nor have ever talked with. I was already back to writing by then, but that sort of support from a stranger really does wonders for a person (and renews my faith in humanity overall). I took one morning off – June 2, the day after I got those first two rejection notes back to back – and then went on a “write or bust” crusade through this morning.
My totals starting with June 3: 2363, 3352, 1493, 1249, for a four day total of 8457 words. Probably the most productive four days I’ve had this year. I doubt I’ll continue at that pace, but I certainly will continue to meet and exceed the personal goals I’ve set for myself.
What really works best for me – and this is all personal and not relevant to any other writer, each has to find their own ways of being productive (if not also successful) – is working on more than one piece at once. Most of the time I’m working on a novel and writing short stories on the side. That way if I slow down on the novel because I’m wading through a difficult piece, I have something else to turn to where I can pick up the slack. But I haven’t started any new short stories in a while and want to focus on the ones I’ve finished and trying to get those published.
Instead, I got a wild hair up my nether regions and started another novel. It’s wildly different than the other one I’ve been working on – the WWI alternate fantasy novel of magic versus technology – and focuses on humor and comedy in a completely made up setting. Basically I’m trying my hand at a Pratchett like feel to a book revolving around a fairy land police department where nothing really bad ever happens beyond a few drunken elves, a couple of fairies who argue over their girlfriends, and Mr. Wolf, who is a real estate speculator trying to bulldoze down some slum buildings he bought so he can sell the land for a profit once he’s driven his tenants – mostly pigs – out. But of course, Something Happens to change the quiet nature of the job, and our heroine – currently called Coral Tratenburg, but all the names are in flux – will help delve into the crimes and solve them with the assistance of the other members of sleepy little precinct thirteen: Bran “Blind Mouser” Mardock, a blind thief with a ridiculous and unintelligible accent; Mr. Henry, a middle aged ghost who loves to collect things from the “real” world; and Penny Whistle, a fairy who is jealous of the new girl (and who secretly hates the imagery of Tinkerbell and the way fairies have been depicted by humans).
I haven’t worked out all the details yet. I’m a discovery writer, so at the moment I’m still mining for the story, working my way through Coral’s experiences on her first day at the new precinct. Should be a fun story to delve into, though, and a nice counterpoint to the heavier war story I’ve been working on.