Sunday, 8 September 2013

Couch Progress: And the Joys of Having Three Main Plots All Screaming for Attention...

My current progress with The Great Couch Happening of '69 is as follows...

Pages: 616 (handwritten)
Approximate Words: 184,000

Since I want to leave myself with plenty of story to work with during NaNoWriMo, I'll be working at a pace of one page a day, so at least between now and then I'll be up about sixty pages since I started the 'page-a-day' thing at the start of this month. It might mean things are a bit jarring for now - I'm used to churning out about 6 pages a day, but there's a wonderful thing called rewriting for that!

Plus, I've got another project in the planning stages in case I manage to complete the first draft of Couch during NaNoWriMo - a novel I was going to write in 2011 before the year decided it wanted to become very unkind to me, You Know You Got (No) Soul.

I'm at that stage of my novel now where I really need to consider easing things towards a conclusion. I should be writing three different plots right now but I'm currently focusing on my protagonists' adventures and if I get to something like page 1000 by the end of NaNoWriMo (which is how long it will be if I do manage 100k) without addressing the others, I could end up having to edit as many as 1300 pages of prose, maybe even more. Not necessarily a bad thing as it's always better to have more to work with, but I intended the first draft, handwritten, to be no more than 1100 pages. And considering how quickly I can write 100 pages as well...

But I suppose I shouldn't worry too much about the length. Like I said, more to work with is better; I'm going to trim the book down anyway and what matters is that I just include the two main plots I've been neglecting.

The plan is to write these three plots separately and then sort of splice them all together in the editing stage. This works better for me because then I can concentrate on one thing at a time. I might have these wee moments where I think 'oh hey, I can stick a bit of Plot B in this chapter break here', but I can just make a note and carry on. When I write Plots B and C later, then I can figure out where to stick their scenes.

Imagining a 1300 page manuscript is quite nice. And also quite scary, because that will be more than double the thickness of the vast wad of paper that I've currently got words on for this project. Blimey.

Motivation has also been an issue for me. I suppose it's natural, because I'm actually 'getting back into' the novel after a month of looking after my first rat Thelma, who was very sick; she required hand-feeding and a lot of love and attention, which I was only too happy to give. So now, with eight healthy rats who I can let out while I write, I'm getting back into writer mode. I still miss Thelma very much.

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