Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
This song has been speaking to me the last couple of days… They were rough and frustrating, but I’m out of that tunnel now. And my choice of listening helped as I continue communing with my teenaged self. In remembering his hopes and pains, and writing Vivian’s Last Cigarette which his ideas inspired, I’m feeling united with him. His opus is testing its wings… and shaking the nest with them!
As I mentioned last week, I became growingly displeased with the structure, pace and direction of the two most recent chapters. This resulted in a lot of editing, revision and rewriting work both last week and bleeding into this one. However, the results were worth it, and after major edits and revisions to chapters six and seven I’m now more than halfway through chapter eight.
The story is currently at twenty-five and a half thousand words in total. That doesn’t include about five-thousand words tossed and rewritten from scratch in the edits… But such is cost doing something right. :-)
If I stay on my present course as plotted, the story should end up a stout novella, at around ten chapters and thirty-five thousand words. However… and hold onto your hats folks… I had a really good idea during a creative interlude on Monday that made me re-consider that creative goalpost.
My idea is actually a combination of several tangents and trains of thought I’ve had while writing Vivian’s Last Cigarette. The first was an epilogue I’ve sketched out that would end the tale on a humorous, upbeat and open note. The current ending I have plotted is also positive, but pretty abrupt.
And then I was looking at that thirty-five thousand word end-goal, and thinking: “If I go that far, I’m just another fifteen thousand words away from fifty thousand and being able to call this thing a novel.”
Adding the epilogue I’d planned alone would push the word count to around forty thousand. At that point, only ten thousand more words or so would be required to go from this being my first novella, to my first novel… A slim and trim one at that, which is usually a great format for a little-known author like myself to start with.
Ten thousand words boils down to two or three more chapters on top of the epilogue. I don’t want to add fluff to simply pad-out the length, just to reach a number. However, there were a couple loose characters and plot threads introduced in the first chapters that were only lightly touched on before I focused on the “meat” of the story (Viv and Gronk’s growing relationship) in chapters three to eight. These elements did what they needed to do, but on Monday I had one of those fantastic moments of inspiration that writers love. One of those great flashes of clarity where you see the parts of your story in a way you hadn’t before, and they connect with the others while you shout “I’ve got to write that!”
This new material wouldn’t even require me to revise what’s already been done. It will serve as a new climax of the story, but the key moment I’d intended to be the climax previously remains. That scene is instead moved to center stage amid the falling action, where I realized that its resonance was so much better!
So, the big news this week is: I’ve decided to make this sucker a novel! :-D
Call me crazy for making my first novel a coming-of-age love story about misfit orcs bonding over Iron Maiden and D&D… but I’m trusting my muse on this one! I’m going for it!
Alright! Now, to staying line with my previous WIP posts on Vivian’s Last Cigarette, I’ll end my blog today with another in-progress clipping. :-)
(Warning: NSFW language and first draft snippets ahead!)
From Chapter Seven…