In my NaNoWriMo wrap-up post last December, I told you I had about ⅔ of the first draft of my book done, and I hoped to have the rest finished by Spring 2018.
Well, it’s no surprise that winter was crazy-busy with new clients at Ye Olde Day Jobbe, and some important short story deadlines came up and swallowed my free time, so getting the first draft of the book done by the end of February, as I had hoped, was not possible.
But I’m sick of being behind, and things have calmed down, so I renewed my commitment to the book during a very recent writing retreat I managed to escape to.
Good news: I was enormously productive for the three days I was at the writing retreat. I printed out the draft of my manuscript so far (which I’d written last November), and started making edits. Sure, there was a lot of red-lining, but I was pleased overall with the quality of what I’d written, and that’s only because I did some serious thinking about the story for years before I sat down to write.
But there are still holes in the book. Some are so big you could drive a truck through them. I have to revisit my outline and flesh out more chunks, the parts I haven’t written yet. I’m thinking the book is going to be larger than I thought. Eep!
I did buckle down and write about 4000 more words in those three days at the retreat, but it’s nowhere near enough. I still have so much of my outline to answer to, and much more plot to outline. But the other good news is that I’ve been doing tons of research, and it’s helping me fill out the holes. Now that the retreat has come to a close, and things have settled at the day job, I’ve yet again renewed my commitment to this book, and am giving myself the crazy goal of getting a first draft done by June.
Yes, that’s three months later than initially planned. But it’ll be worth it.
I have to say, I’m really enjoying writing this book, though. It’s turning out to be a really different and intriguing ghost & zombie story with some alternate universe fantasy samurai stuff thrown in, and I’m really stretching my skills. I’m also reading a lot of Japanese ghost stories, folk tales, and military history to refill the well of inspiration, and, uh, give myself nightmares.
Yes, it’s worth it.
Stay tuned for more progress reports AND blog posts about themes in the book, to whet your appetite. I’m forcing myself to kicked in the face by the flames of accountability: this book WILL get done.