Wait, another one? Didn’t we just do one of these like two weeks ago?
Yeah. I got through this 25,000 word chunk with a lot of help from some writing I did on this story last year. I had no idea that roughly 15,000-ish words comprised just five chapters. By the time I added them in (because I’d finally reached them in the plot), I was at 99,000 words. That’s what that random spike is in the chart. It was just a matter of writing that last 1,000 to already be done for this month.
Of course, that’s not the way of writing. I’ve got to keep up the momentum so the narrative doesn’t go stale in my mind. But with the sudden complete jump to the next arc, I find myself flailing a bit. I know what’s going to happen next, but not quite how it will. I didn’t have time to think about it, to spool out the events and dialogue and gunfights in my imagination. It’s taken me three days of thought to just now start working it out. I’m still turning possibilities over even as I write this.
I’ve somehow gotten it in my head that I’m about halfway done at chapter 45. That had me feeling a little defeated, imagining another 100,000 words before I can take a break from this story. It’s been a fun adventure but also a harrowing struggle, being my first true efforts at overcoming writer’s block again and again and again. Fortunately, I’ve come to the realization that I just have this one arc and some small chapters to tie in a few subplots before I’ll be writing the final climactic arc.
It will be nice to put this down for a while and spend time on some short stories. I’ve written two while working on this larger piece, but it stresses me out when I take time away from one to do the other. Soon, maybe after one more progress update (sooner, if I didn’t have to wander around the block just to get down the street when I write first drafts), I’ll set this aside for a couple months. Stephen King said in On Writing that when you come back to your draft, “you’ll find reading your book over after a six-week layoff to be a strange, often exhilarating experience.” I’m ready for that break. But more than that, I’m looking forward to coming back and beginning to revise.
I’m close enough to see the end. Now I have only to reach out and touch the finish line.