In my last post, I mentioned how I was homing in on the 60,000-word mark and expected to pass that figure the following day. Well, it was three days late, but I got there. Apologies for the delay. I became distracted with lockdown and the scandals surrounding a certain election, and that slowed me a bit.
Not to worry. I passed the 60,000-word marker this morning and am now poised to make an assault on the rest of the book. There are still at least 40,000 words to go, so don’t hold your breath, but we are getting there. A large part of writing a book is not the physical act of getting words down in type, it is the organisation of the various parts of the story into a cohesive whole. This sounds simple – start at the beginning and work your way through to the end – but it isn’t. Frequently, I find myself knowing what the next stage of the narrative is going to be but find myself at a loss as to how to get there. The only solution is to have faith in one’s ability and think about it. It is not uncommon for a new development in the story to require a fresh passage to be inserted much earlier in the text to provide a foreshadow. I have been doing quite a bit of that lately
This isn’t writer’s block. That is a different thing, whereby your brain lets you down and you cannot produce a workable idea, no matter how hard you try. All writers suffer from it. The good news is that it is a temporary condition. The solution is to keep writing, work through it, even if you end up discarding everything because it wasn’t good enough. It removes the block, and you can replace your poor writing with better material.
No, this is organisation. How to get from where I am at to where I want to be, and that is not a simple thing. Surprisingly, the solution frequently turns out to be simple, a linking paragraph of text, for example. The solution may be simple but arriving at it is not. It usually presents itself when I am nowhere near my computer and doing something else altogether. Then I kick myself and wonder why that did not occur to me earlier.
Never get the idea that writing a book is easy, because it isn’t.