I’ve written several times in the past about the difficulty of finishing a novel. Writing book-length fiction requires dedication, courage, and maybe a little insanity.
I haven’t finished my current work-in-progress, Ghost of a Chance, yet, but I am 42 chapters into it. By early next week, it will be the longest book I’ve ever written, and I am hoping to type, “The End,” by the time we Americans are celebrating the birth of our nation with hot dogs and explosions.
Finishing a novel is extraordinary, but it might be even more so this time. As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve been moving this summer. That has put a serious crimp in my ability to get anything else done.
For the entire first three weeks of June (and the last week of May), I’ve been packing. On the 20th, We loaded everyone up and left town. This past week, we’ve been staying with a friend while we waited to close on the house — a fact that was complicated severely by an unexpected hiccup in the financing that involved me spending hours on the phone with bureaucrats in another state.
Work time has been at a premium. I’ve had precious little ability to do much blogging or other marketing work. My sales have suffered a bit as a result, although I am seeing residual effects from promotions I ran last month.
But I have carved out time to write. I make a little time five days a week (a little less last week what with packing, cleaning, and driving) to try to write one chapter. That’s averaged about 3000 words a day, which is a solid day’s work for me.
Sometimes, I’ve had to write in more than one session, because I get interrupted by moving concerns. Sometimes I couldn’t write a whole chapter, only a portion of one. But I kept making steady progress.
I’ll be writing the 43rd chapter this afternoon. I’ve revealed most of the major villain’s plan. I’ve tied up a lot of loose ends and drawn back the curtain on clues I’ve been laying for three books on what’s really happening in Alfar. It just remains for the big confrontation and conclusion.
And I’m really excited about it. This has been a difficult book to write. There was so much to do plot-wise it was difficult to see how to get from beginning to end.
But I’m almost there. And it’s good.
It amazes me I’ve been able to stay on target with all the distractions. It astounds me I can focus enough to write, especially with the stress of the last few weeks melting my brain.
But it’s also been a comfort. For a little while each day, I get to ignore the crap swirling around me with the move. I put my mind in Alfar and deal with Wolf’s and his friends’ problems instead of mine. In that way, this may have been the perfect time to be working on the first draft of a novel. As hard as writing a book-length piece of fiction is, it may actually have been easier this time, because it was an escape from the pressure of moving cross-country.
Regardless, I’ve been staying on target with my weekly word count. I’m going to finish this book on time, which will make it possible to have the rest of its development schedule stay on time.
Writing a novel requires will. It seems I have even more of that than I thought I did.