I have nothing good to say about my writing during the month of March.
I am suspicious that this is one of those cases where I’m being much harder on myself than I have any right or reason to be. It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t feel good about my progress during March.
Editing has been happening, but at a much, much slower pace than I want it to be going. I want to cut a lot of words (a fifth, all told) out of my current draft of the novel. I cut what looks like a sizable chunk from the novel and my word count doesn’t drop nearly as much as I want. I’m almost a hundred pages in with editing and I’ve barely chipped away any of this monster novel.
For generating new material, I have too many projects. I keep jumping from one to the other and while technically this is forward progress, I feel stagnate. Feeling stagnate makes me want to start something new. To shake the paradigm. Or, it makes me want to finish something. Unfortunately, nothing is in a place where its close to finishing. Everything is somewhere in the murky middle and many of my projects are at a place where I want to have a moment of focus before I tackle the next bit.
Focus has not been something easy as of late.
Let’s not even talk about how submissions have been going.
So, whining is fine and dandy, but I’m a little sick of it. Instead, have a game plan for what I’m going to do about all of this melancholia.
New Writing: Time to start tracking word count more closely, including keeping an eye on the growth of different projects on a monthly basis. Since I’ve got so many projects, it’s easy to feel like I’m getting nowhere on any of them, like I’m spinning my wheels. And maybe I am, but I’ve been generating a lot of words, so you would think that SOME of those novels would be farther along than when I started. I’m even sure that they are. I just can’t see where. So, time to keep better track. I know that word count is not the only indicator of a book’s progress as it is really, really easy to slap down many words that have little to no impact on the final version. I am terrible for meandering and getting distracted on my way to the final plot. However, since I usually only have a rough idea of what my final destination is with any given work, I don’t have another good way to track progress than with word count. We use the tools we have.
Editing: Finish the edits I marked out for myself on the Cat novel. This draft has some large structural changes that need to happen yet and it’s hard to really say what’s necessary and what’s not until after those shifts have been made. Even if I don’t cut the novel down as much as I want this draft, there will be future drafts. And, frankly, even if, in its final and ultimate form, it’s long for its genre, I don’t really care. Because at its heart, I am proud of this novel. It is, or will be, a novel I always wanted to read. Even if I can’t take it the ‘traditional’ route for whatever reasons, I’ll do something with this one. After a few (dozen?) rounds of editing.
Submissions: This is the area that I’m most unsure of right now. I grow more displeased with Trask’s novel as time passes. I need to have a sit down with it and reconsider a lot of what it is and what it’s doing. More and more, I think I haven’t been as daring with the story as I need to. The plot is fine, the characters are great, but I need to take the setting to its limits and then off the other end. That’s what feels right and that’s feels lacking at this time. But the question is, do I keep throwing the novel at agents in hopes that I’m wrong or do I table the hunt for now and wait until I’ve got something new to toss around? I don’t have an answer at this time and little bandwidth to consider the question. Maybe I’ll know better next month.