I came into some unexpected time off a few weeks ago. Although I didn’t request it, I had been feeling overwhelmed doing the whole working-two-jobs-AND-writing-a-novel thing, and I was incredibly grateful to see it on my schedule. I decided to devote that extra time I suddenly had to a writing blitz on A Year with the Baptists , and decided to limit my social media engagement. (Hence no new content, apart from that crazy brainstorm gone short story). But, said blitz is over, and I’m back today with some thoughts on this blitz in word vomit format (i.e., no particular order).
First of all, I was going to cancel Netflix. I really was. My subscription is up on the second, and I was going to go in on the first and shut it down. One less distraction, you know. But Gilmore Girls came to Netflix on the first, and do you know how much I love that show? So I decided to be disciplined instead. (All things in moderation). So far, so good.
Currently, A Year with the Baptists is 72.5K words, 200 (unformatted pages), and 40 chapters. If I had to guess, I probably have 40K-50K words left before this (roughest of the rough) draft is finished.
I was able to write 21.3K words in A Year with the Baptists the first eleven days of October, and A LOT happened in that 21.3K words. I’ve been writing the actual year with the Baptists month-by-month, so I finished up August, September, and am nearly done with October. Lest you think I’m further along than I actually am, the year with the Baptists starts in May, and is only a part (however large) of the overall novel.
If all of my calculations are correct, and I continue on at the rate I’ve been writing (averaging 1937 words a day), I should finish this draft by October 31st. And that is my goal because I’d like to work on a new project next month during NaNoWriMo (I know, I know, I’m such a joiner). Anyway, I probably won’t start revising A Year with the Baptists until December, when it will receive a total overhaul, because (according to my calculations) I’ll have 30K-40K words to cut.
The film-maker in me is actually looking forward to revising: making the plot tighter and snappier. I already have lots of ideas, and its a challenge resisting the temptation to go back and start from square one right now. However, the film-maker in me also knows that its better to have too much material than too little, so I blaze forward creating this mammoth, knowing I’ll shape and re-shape until it’s a horse.
There is no way A Year with the Baptists will release in February. I’ll be blessed (not to mention surprised) if my personal revisions are finished by February, not to mention the time professional editing takes, and of course, beta readers. I also want to have a more formal launch for A Year with the Baptists than I had for The Field. That will take planning from me, help from other people, and most of all, time. I’m shooting for the first half of 2015, but even that might be optimistic.
The beauty of self-publishing is that there’s no rush.
The idea I’ve had sitting on the back burner is a series, so it’s going to take years to write (even though I hope to get a 50,000 word start next month), and I won’t start the self-publishing process on that until it’s finished.
Never fear, though, I’ll have short stories and poems and essays to occupy you in the meantime.
Did I mention things happened in A Year with the Baptists over the past eleven days? My characters just started doing things, some of them planned, some of them not. One of the characters up and quit her job, or maybe she was asked to resign. It’s not terribly clear at this point exactly what happened, because of all the accusations flying around. Either way, that character is doesn’t have the job she started with anymore. A different character gave Emma a cactus, and I have a feeling we haven’t seen the end of that. Obviously there’s more, but those were some of the unplanned moments.
I also made a discovery: Emma is her own antagonist. I mean, there are other antagonistic characters, but Emma really seems to have it in for herself at this point in the story. And she’s just going to get a lot worse before she gets better.
I actually hate that I can’t write without being so analytical about it. I’d pay to not care that Emma is her own enemy.
There’s this coffee shop in A Year with the Baptists and it’s called The Perc (short for Percolator). They have a rewards program called Perc’s Perks, and I crack myself up with that one every time it’s mentioned, even though I’m the one who came up with it. (I may have brought it up on purpose a time or two, just to crack myself up). I tell you this because as punny as it is, and as amused as I am by it, it (probably) won’t make the final cut. And you deserve to know just how cheesy I am.
Finally, indignance is NOT a word. I have tried to make it a word countless times (because I can’t think of the word indignation), but spellcheck always says no. I mean, come on, if a person is indignant, why is the emotion he or she experiences not indignance?
On that note, I’m done babbling now.
It’s good to be back!