I’m finally getting around to the post I was going to make on Friday, except that I decided it would be better not to bump the signature contest down peoples’ flists.
So, that YA I’m working on. I wrote steadily through January, and even managed to keep it up while at VeriCon, which is little short of a miracle; it required me to be up and working at 3:30 in the morning when I had a panel in seven hours, but hey. I got the words down.
But I came back from the con and that Monday got handed a stack of student stories to grade, which came as something of a rude awakening; I’d seriously underestimated the time each one would demand from me. That might have been fine, except that the sudden increase in workload happened to coincide with a realization about the story: that I was about to step into the endgame, and I was very much not ready. I could have kept plunging ahead, but after eight books I’m developing a sense of when delay is the better part of valor; I needed to step back and get my ducks in a row, or whatever I wrote was just going to be useless crap anyway.
That turned, unfortunately, into a week and a half long hiatus. Which tends to be a bad thing, right before the end of a book. I ultimately had to go back and re-read everything I had so far, but at least it had the salutary effect of convincing me the entire thing doesn’t suck; certainly it has its weak points, but the middle is decently solid. Then I embarked on an incredibly tedious task, namely, plotting the book out scene by scene, one per index card — from multiple points of view. Val’s the only narrator the book has, but it’s long occurred to me that I could probably make my plots more well-knitted if I took the time to think through the story as it’s seen by different characters. What do they think is going on in particular scenes? What are they doing when they’re off-stage? I ended up cheesing out and only noting four other characters on the cards (it should have been six), but that was enough. The last one gave me the reason I needed for why the next thing was going to happen, and that was what had been stalling me.
I’ve gotten nearly six thousand words in the last three days, and at this point, quotas are going out the window. It’s a dead push; I’ll be writing everything I know every day that I can, because I think I can only figure out the next bits by putting down the ones I have. I’m near the end, certainly — 53K on the ms so far, and I’m aiming for something just over the 60K line. I just need to figure out what kind of confrontation we’re going to end with, then work back from there to get the next few paragraphs after where I stopped last night. If I can get that some time today, I should be clear to the end.
It’s tough going. Maybe I shouldn’t novel at this time of year. But having gotten myself into it, the only way out is through.