Monday, November 12, 2007

dammit, dammit, sonofabitch


A few days ago I was VERY FAR AHEAD. I had a lot of padding in my word count.

Now I'm behind.

I haven't written for days, and not only did it catch up to me, but it blew right past me and I didn't even notice.

I'm a little less than a day behind now. By the end of today (the calendar day, not the one where I should already be in bed) I'm supposed to have over 20,000 words. This is not impossible, since the way things have been going I should be able to spew out a thousand or more in about an hour.

But I suspect sometime very soon I'm gonna hit a big ol' speedbump that's gonna knock my spew-rate way down.

Cuz I'll admit something here in print for the first time (tho I have voiced it to a few folks already...) The first part of my book is pretty much autobiographical. I changed the name of one character. Everyone else has their real name. I also changed the name of the the little suburban development where I grew up. I don't know why I changed that, or even why I didn't use my own name for the story character. It's not like anyone's ever going to read it, so it doesn't matter. But it feels right to me to do it this way.

And I really wouldn't be upset if somebody said to go and change all the real names to other names. So if I have to do that at some point, I can use a Find/Replace function. I've been thinking it would be fun to keep all the actual names of the people I knew when I was growing up but attach them to the wrong people. Then shit would get really confusing.

Anyhow, the fact that this story so far has been autobiographical has meant that I'm not really doing any hardcore story generation. I'm needing to think about pacing and structure and foreshadowing and character development -- all of which dictate what and where the story goes. But I've got a massive advantage in the fact that all of my characters and locations are already fully formed and just need to be ejected out of my head and onto the page.

If you've read my excerpt (which is the first few pages of the book minus a few later revisions) you'll know the main character is about to turn six years old at the beginning. The switcheroo, where it goes from "probably the most boring autobiographical shit ever written" to "this is the fiction part that never really happened" occurs when that same character is 19 years old. At 18,000 words in, he is 9 or 10. So I've got a ways to go, I think. Unless shit starts spiraling out of control in order to get to the end faster. But I don't see that happening. I'm starting to suspect this might be a two-parter and the first 50,000 words end up being entirely autobiographical. My own boring true-life story with (thus far) absolutley zero embellishment - just a clear focus on the real-life drama of grade school kids.

Maybe if I stop writing about it here, I can get my fucking word count in.

(See, just a few minutes and already over 550 words. Too bad they're not in the right place.)

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