Sixty thousand eight hundred and thirty four. That is how many words I have written as of this morning. I waited to write on my blog today so I could get to over sixty thousand. I'm now writing at least 2000 words a day. I have known since I started my novel where I was going - it was a mixture of the hero finally stepping up with the ending being his new beginning. Of course over the last past month in a half there have been some tweaks and I now know exactly where I'm going with few if any holes in the story. I started this story wanting to convey a message I believe is going to be more powerful today than it would've been had I finished it a year ago... or two years ago. Funny how with my own growth in writing mixed with all kinds of new influences in the world of literature and add having to teach it has made me a more confident writer. Of course I'm still learning from books and articles on writing, from reading good (and sometimes bad, although I tend not to finish them anymore) books both from the past and contemporary, and from the act of writing in and of itself. There is no way I could have just continued with the first draft without beating myself up for the terrible writing I did that day or the day before. Writing is about rewriting. Revisions, which I hope to get to in less than two weeks, is where I fix the problems, rewrite sentences that don't jive or lose the reader, and basically tighten up the story. I get to erase and add to the canvas... not many artist get that opportunity. Revisions and edits are the writers version of practice and rehearsal.
My plan is to read through, with highlighter and pen and pencil (and perhaps shredder) making notes and changes. I will do this twice before sending it to my editor. Then... who knows... no matter what I have learned that each and every time I read something I write I revise something. At some point, and this is according to every one of those writing books I've read, you have to just say its done. Before I decided to just finish the first draft I had revised the first chapter about 15 times, maybe more. Sometimes not for the better. That is why I have decided two times for me and then send it to the editor to get their input. In the words of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, 'You gotta have a plan!' Or was that her roommate that said that?
As you can see by my title he showed back up again. It was like some horror movie with the monster in a military uniform. Gene walked into my house in the midst of a writing frenzy. I was on a real roll and in fact wrote almost 3500 words that day (despite his interruption). He walked in wanting to... you guessed it... talk, and talk, and talk and... you get the idea. Of course it started with, "I thought you finished that book thing." Nothing like 'book thing' and the love I could feel to build confidence. I had planned out his visit this time (minus the final twenty minutes of writing) realizing there was no way I would get anything done with his presence.
After I finished writing we both traveled back to our teenage days and played Tiger Woods golf until two in the morning. He beat me but cheated... he plays Tiger (the best of the best player in the game... both in real life and on the video game version) and I play some chump that just recently qualified for his Tour Card. It doesn't matter - we had a great time anyway despite our urge sometimes to throw the controller though the TV screen. We both used language Malia charged us $1 per word for but worked hard to keep our mouths in check. Some of Gene's classics to keep from using foul language are: Christ on Friday (don't ask, he doesn't even know what it means), REALLY? (he uses this, like, all the time) and my personal favorite - it starts out sounding like he's planning to cuss but what comes out is... GOD......... BLESS AMERICA!
I can't wait until next week... I have a surprise for all of you.