Monday, June 15, 2009

Down To The Wire

Well, I estimated that my novel would be 80,000 words long. I hit the 80,000 within my time schedule, before vacation. As planned.


The story's not finished. And I'm stuck in quagmire up to my earlobes, right at the beginning of The Big Exploding Chapter.

Stuck. Stressed out. Needing to do laundry and pack and deal with all the little irritations nobody really has time for when they're trying to leave town.

Like mice in my pantry.

All that to say...I could use some "positive writing thoughts" today. In a few hours I will have my treasured Writing Time, during which I will either break through or I won't.

And, oh yes. I'm a perfectionist. As in, not finishing before Wednesday=abject failure.

I know, I know. Do the laundry, get your butt out the door, enjoy your vacation. I will! It's know how it is.

*Waiting for the Story Fairy to come finish the climax for me.*


  1. I know exactly how you feel. I hope your fairy makes it there in time.

  2. UGH. You and I really are neck and neck! My goal was to finish at 70k words by Saturday. Now I've got 70k words...and am not done yet...and Saturday is looming closer.

    So if it helps, at least you have someone else experiencing the exact same thing!!

  3. *~* positive thoughts for a productive day coming your way *~*
    (send the Story Fairy this way when you're finished with him/her please!). :)


  4. Ditto on needing the story fairy over here. I have exceeded 86K words, have probably 2 chapters left, and have completely stalled out. I've come too far to be stalled now, darn it!!

    All that to say... someone else feels your pain. Keep going! I know you'll make it.

  5. Sometimes, you have to embrace what DOESN'T happen, what doesn't get finished, what isn't yet written. The harder you cling to a fixed goal (in my experience) the heavier and more out of reach it becomes.

    Cheesy, I know, but I'm an optimist. Writers have to be. Gotta see every rejection as a chance for more spit shining. Otherwise you'd defenestrate yourself. :)

  6. *positive writing thoughts, positive writing thoughts*

  7. I've gleaned enough about you from this anonymous site to KNOW that you will get through your big scene and be essentially done with your novel by Wednesday.

    You're a writer.
    You know what you need to do.
    You've got your writing time.
    You're MOTIVATED.

    It will happen and we'll be cheering you on when it does.

  8. So identify...I've written 77,000 have three chapters to write, was aiming for 80,000 but can see bits to be chopped earlier on. But can I just get on and do it? Oh no...and that's partly because I can see my three chapters turning into at least six...

    The only comforting thing I can think of is that if you just give up on the deadline and go on holiday you'll probably come back with the end all written in your head.

  9. A Grey said my thoughts exactly... "Sometimes, you have to embrace what DOESN'T happen, what doesn't get finished, what isn't yet written."

    Here's the thing, if it is a true impass then it's going to take some gel time before you go forward maybe? So if your fairy tale doesn't work -- it was karma, because laying on that beach or walking hand in hand with hubby--lightening will strike and you'll have all vacation to firm it up and get really excited about it.

    Good luck with the mice... Whatever works, I have complete faith that you WILL persevere.

  10. Another perfect example of a story not fitting into a word count. And also a perfect example of a story that can't be rushed. The key isn't the number of words, it's the quality... and maybe you haven't yet had the one experience that will show you the ending.

    Maybe, just maybe, your imagination will come up with something that somehow involves the mice in your pantry?

  11. Sending positive thoughts and fairy requests your way.

    Sorry to hear about the mice!

  12. At the fast rate you're writing, I'd say just go ahead and write it out if you have time before vacation. Because, though I hate to say it, you know the draft is going to have to be edited and then you're bound to lose a bunch of words. So, it will work out right in the end. A friend of mine pared down her first book (under the guidance of her agent)from something like 168,000 words to a doable length. Take heart, yours isn't that long.

  13. Turn off your internal editor and get the last bits down while you do the laundry. Pack a case, write a paragraph. Worry about fixing the typos etc. when you get back.

    You'll feel good and because it is unfiltered writing while under stress you may capture the emotion you need better for it.

  14. The 80K was just an estimate. If you've exceeded that, you apparently had more to say. And if the extra words bother you a great deal, take comfort in the knowledge that plenty will disappear during the editing process, no doubt. So, enjoy writing the rest -- I'm sure it'll be great -- and relish your vacation. Have fun :-)

  15. I feel your pain. I've been revising and editing my 90K thriller and after about 100 pages I realized: this is not gelling. So now it's back to the drawing board. Same characters and basic concept, but new inciting incident and way different plot thread and twists. Even a new working title. Let's see if I can complete the overhaul by the end of the year.

  16. At least you can write and do laundry at the same time. Writing and packing--trickier. Good luck with finishing before you leave. If you finish on the plane on the way, that should still count though, right?

  17. Apparently the story fairy is all booked up. How about cupid instead?

  18. Good luck! I am in a similar boat. I thought mine would be around 80k. I'm at 87k now and still have a few chapters to go. I want to enter it in a competition and really need to get it finished, but I had such a big push to get to 80k that I want to put it aside for a few weeks.

    It doesn't sound like you have much left to do. I'd forego as much sleep as you can, and really push yourself to get it finished in time. Then you can go on vacation happy. Of course, if you don't finish, then just put it out of your head and enjoy your time off! You can come back to it fresh afterwards and finish it.

  19. I think you can do it if you set your mind to it. But I also think you should give yourself permission to just start your vacation. Rushing to get to the end might get it done, but it also might spending your time off worried you didn't do it right. Take a break. The ending's not going anywhere.

    Have a great vacation.

  20. Positive thoughts coming your way!!!

    And enjoy your vacation.

  21. I guess by now the story fairy has arrived, you've "finished" by summarizing the last chapters with a single sentence each and will "edit" them when you get home, or you've agreed to give yourself extra time.

    Enjoy your vacation and try to recharge those batteries & refill that well. You've earned it!

    A word count cutting tip: take all those "the blank of the blank" and replace with "the blank's blank." Delete the "and then"s--you'd be amazed how many words you can cut just pruning like that :-)