I did not meet my goal of 2,000 words a day for the month of June. Not even close. Word count-based goals are a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, they are easily quantifiable, and it can be nice to have a goal which can be so easily measured. But in attempting to reach my goals, I began to write out of sequence and that tends to confuse me. Having three separate narrative threads which take place in different times, it was becoming harder and harder for me to see how the pieces fit together. The wheels came off of some of my stories, and in figuring out how to reattach them, the stories themselves have begun to change somewhat.
So later this month, I begin anew. I have decided to start over with my first draft. I have some new ideas I want to work in, and some of them need to appear at the beginning. I have been doing idea clouds on large sheets of newsprint, word clusters and such, and plan to spend the next couple of weeks working on those and maybe doing some legitimate outlining before I dive in again with page one. The large sheets of newsprint are going up on the wall near where I write.
Through the new work I have done on the overall shape of the book lately, I can see all sorts of new things. I have some new concepts to explore, while other ones are being simplified or removed. I really feel I am getting closer and closer, and was surprised how natural the decision to start over felt.
My friend Ian said that each time I talk to him about the book, the new ideas and such, he feels I am circling a target and getting closer each time. I only hope that the shape he is describing is not a spiral, that the target is not actually a drain.
I try to remind myself that Catch-22 took something like 11 years for Joseph Heller to write. Then I feel terrible for comparing my work with Catch-22.
I am going to a party today, Blogreader. How wonderfully out of character. Ostensibly, the party is based on the notion of American Independence, even though it's a day early and our current levels of independence are open to debate.
There will be people and food and such. I will not know many of the people, but I am hopeful that I will recognize some of the food.