What did I get myself into?
My summer novel-writing has commenced.
I have forgotten how taxing it is to write a novel–emotionally, mentally, and physically. Yesterday, I got together with Puer and Paper for a “write-in,” a good 2-3 hours of solid writing. I was totally wiped out and crawled into bed around 10 p.m. because my energies were so completely sapped. Hopefully this goes away and I’ll be able to write more efficiently throughout the summer. I guess I’m just miserably out of practice. I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t a little discouraged, but I’m going to stay optimistic. I’m determined to get through this, and my characters are coming to life like never before. I currently have 14,000 words of Boot Hill written, and only about half of that had previously been written/polished. So far so good! I’m pretty happy with how it is coming out, too.
The only context I’ve ever had for writing a novel is National Novel Writing Month, and I’m not convinced my seven attempts (and five wins!) at writing 50,000 words in a month have prepared me for undertaking an entire novel in three months–the word count for this particular installation is looking at around 100,000 words. I know it sounds like the three-month 100,000 word novel would be a lot easier than 50,000 words in one month, but the honest truth is that there’s not much I took away from my NaNoWriMo writing attempts. As much as I loved the experience, most of the drafts I “won” with ended up in an archived folder on my computer, never to be opened again. Much of my writing felt so sub-par, irrelevant, and unusable for me that NaNoWriMo became more of a writing exercise than a fast way to churn out a story. I know it works for a lot of people; I just don’t think I’m one of them, unfortunately. I’m trying to make Boot Hill something I can be proud of, and I don’t think rushing myself is the key. So the alternative is this three-month summer option, and I’m doing my damnedest to make things work.
Here are a couple paragraphs I wrote yesterday that I quite liked:
My eyes flutter open to a brilliant orange and yellow sky. Finch sits beside me, chewing on a long piece of grass as he looks out into the distance. My heart jumps into my throat and I scramble away from him, wincing as the pain in my shoulder flares. I grasp at the wound, shallow breaths trickling from my chapped lips as Finch and I look at each other. After a few seconds, he stands and shakes his head. Both of his guns are secured in their holsters.
“Get up,” Finch says, striding toward me and grabbing my uninjured arm. “You’ve stirred up a whole heap of trouble, Linds.” I don’t move. He crouches down next to me. “Now, you’re coming with me once and for all. Y’understand? Or do I have to tie your hands so you won’t swat at me and my boys?”