(Yes indeed – that’s me. Wandering in the canyon of my own thoughts – LOL)
75,000 words and counting on this fourth book in the Crater Lake series. The whole story is blocked out. This is the first time I have written a draft using Word’s navigation pane function with level one and two headings to create a highly effective outline. The ease with which I can navigate through the text has turned me into a fan.
I’ve come up on the first minor climax. Writing any type of climax is an interesting process for me. I can’t do it sequentially. I need to write characters’ actions, reactions and dialogue on either side first. Knowing what led up to the action and the fallout afterwards means writing the actual event is a piece of cake. I experienced this in The Light Never Lies when it took me forever to write Lisa-Marie into labour. I circled and circled like an old dog around her bed, waiting and hoping I’d find the perfect spot in the turning process where I knew enough to write the damn scene!
I have been buried in my current work-in-progress for almost a month. Every day, it becomes more intense, more demanding. There are days when I can hardly bear to come up for air in the real world but lucky for me, life does ensure that sanity breaks occur – there is food to prepare, laundry to deal with and a bed to be made. Not to mention, walks on the trails to solidify dialogue and story ideas.
Though the work is draining, it’s a huge relief to know that nothing can sideline the writing of this first draft. The characters’ voices are too much with me to allow anything – short of breaking all my fingers – to get in the way. And even then, I suppose I would have to dictate the novel.
I eat, sleep and breathe this book, leaving the computer screen at night bleary-eyed to fall into bed and drift off with characters from one scene talking and wake up in another scene all together. Some mornings, I jump out of bed knowing that something I wrote the day before won’t work or desperate to get to the computer because I must fix something while it’s fresh in my mind.
I’d love to hear how other writers keep up their strength. I’ve got at least six more weeks before my first draft will be complete. All I can say is this – writing a novel is a marathon, not a sprint.