They’re finally starting to talk to me

Well, here we are, 21,000 words in, and the characters are finally starting to relax and talk to me a little. One main character has suggested gently that she’s lonely and could do with some company, preferably male. I’m starting to understand their characters a little, and the story is starting to flow a little more.

It’s still hard work, don’t get me wrong. I’m still nothing like happy with what’s going on. But it’s a first draft. I don’t need it to be perfect. I just need it to be written, so I can take an objective look at what I’ve got and start pulling it apart and doing it better.

I did a lot of planning. Probably not enough, but I could plan forever and never actually get anything written. This way at least I’ve got something to work on, and the more I work on it, the more engaged I am with it and the more likely to continue, not to mention what I’m learning as I write.

My notebook is proving important, and I should probably make more use of it, to make notes of characters and their names as I introduce them. I printed out a section today to go through and check up on the names I’ve used, and I already found one character who inexplicably changed name partway through, and I know there’s another whose name I spelt wrong for a section or two – he’s turned out to be a right nasty character, by the way.

I haven’t done much looking back at what I’ve done so far. I’m more concerned with moving forward at the moment – working on covering as much as I can, with a view to paring it down to the essentials later. I’m also not concerned about being subtle yet – I’m happy to exaggerate situations and characters, with a view to refining later.

I’ve now attended a couple of write-ins, and at each I’ve taken part in sprints and increased the word count. I’ve also had a chance to chat to other writers and to admire how impressive we look, all sitting around with notebooks and laptops, talking about our novels.

I’ve started to get into the routine of sitting writing in the evenings, on the laptop in front of the TV. I mostly ignore the TV; that’s just for the others in the room. But it means that I have company and warmth and comfort, and a ready distraction if I need one. Still, I’m managing to keep to a steady 2k words plus per day, and so the word count is steadily going up.

So generally things are going well and I’m well on track to finish the 50k challenge on time and hopefully finish the full first draft soon after.


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