the state of things

 

Novel Writing Interrupted

by Douglas Lindsay - 12:19 on 22 February 2011

School holidays. Day Two.


It's quiet. Too quiet.


Not much doing. A week in the south of England in February. You make your own fun; however I'm determined not to have any, and kids today have forgotten how to make fun. They need fun electronically delivered to them. Currently, however, they are both engaged with Friends, and so momentarily detached from technology. Boys, running around the park with a ball (contradicting my previous statement); girls, tucked away in a small room talking about whatever it is that twelve year-old girls talk about. I never knew. Still don't. Don't wish to ever find out.


Ah. The girls have attached themselves to technology. Normal service is resumed.


Novel writing has been interrupted. I could be novel writing at this very moment, of course, but a week off school is not particularly conducive to the rhythm of novel writing. The odd stolen hour here and there might be all right for shorter forms of prose, but it doesn't lend itself to the Great British Novel. Nor to what it is that I'm writing.


When school goes back there will be five weeks in which to finish the novel before the gargantuan Easter break kicks in; that being an absurdly long holiday of three weeks and two days off school. So I could really do with at least finishing the first draft in the next five weeks, as the Easter break will be a giant, nuclear explosion in the middle of the creative process.


Given this, it would be helpful if I was at least half way through the book, or even two-thirds. Three-quarters or nine-tenths would also be tickety-boo. However, in terms of how many words I'll ultimately aim to write, I'm only about a quarter of the way through; and in terms of how advanced the story is, it's probably only about a fifth or less. Will probably need to ditch some of the already-written 25,000 words so that the whole thing isn't too flabby. Wouldn't want it to turn out like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.


Oh, wait a minute....


So, twenty-five working days to write approximately eighty thousand words. And I'll be going to Scotland for three days in the middle of that, so actually just twenty-two working days. And then there will be the afternoons when my current position as Dad will require my attendance at various massacres on the school sporting fields of the west country. And then there's the marathon training for 1st May.


Now that I do the maths and actually think about it - which I hadn't done until I started writing the last paragraph - perhaps I ought to be re-evaluating the time frame. Maybe finishing before Easter 2012 might be more realistic, and more likely to come in on time and under budget.


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