Writing Journal/Random Notes 12.17.2017: At least I can analyze my writing failures better

Well, this week’s writing session turned into what, for me, was a bomb. And I was at the end of the week, just staring at the screen, watching the time go by, like (inserting The Last Jedi-appropriate reaction picture here):

Reax Hamill84

The stats:

+1,801 words written.

Days writing: 5 out of 7.

Daily writing goals met (500+ words): 1 out of 7 days.

Well, I always say it could be worse – I could have gone three years without writing like I did back home years ago.

Some background: I am currently working on a book with the working title The American 9. My intention is for this book, a sort-of coming of age/rise of a sports idol story that finally harvests my obsession with soccer into something of use. I’ve talked about it before.

Based on past research, I should be shooting for a book somewhere in the 80,000-100,000 word range. This is where I stand on the first draft today (I’ve not posted these numbers before):

Current length of first draft: 77,657 (as of the beginning of today).

Current goal for first draft length by Dec. 31, 2017: 85,000-90,000.

[At this rate, that goal might be ambitious. But if I have two good last writing weeks of the year, 85K is doable.]

Planned length of first draft: 95,000-99,999.

[Not so much this week, but it’s a good title for a regular feature so I don’t want to junk it] Random Notes:

  1. As the title implies, I do have what I consider to be a good idea for why I boinked out so harshly on the writing output. Since I rededicated myself to a writing lifestyle, those valleys of not writing have been fewer and far between.
    In putting together this novel, I’m trying something I have not previously done. Instead of writing the book how it will be read – that is, from beginning to end – I am assembling the book like a mechanic. I am installing all of the vital, most interesting scenes first, and then considering whether I need to add in the other scenes later.
    This week, I came across a scene that I considered to be vital – the last soccer game D., my main character, has with his old Sunday League team, after he has gone off the college and the other main members of the team have drifted off into other interests. I believed it was a vital scene, because it helps him begin to reexamine whether he made the right choice to play college football near his hometown rather than go to England and try to succeed as a soccer player there.
    The only problem is that writing the scene became a slog. It just didn’t feel like the action was flowing, although I did not include the entire scene, but rather only the times when D. scored goals for his team.
    What I needed to remember is that if I feel like I’m writing garbage, especially in the first draft, I just need to type the garbage and move on. Everything gets fixed in the revisions. I forgot to do that this week, and the above is the result.
  2. In case anyone’s interested, my leg that I talked about hurting last week is slowly improving. I can now walk normally, but climbing stairs is still problematic. Thankfully, it’s a non-issue where writing is concerned.
  3. My winter break starts Thursday evening. I honestly could care less about any presents, but I am looking forward to ending 2017 on a good writing tear. More and more I am finding myself in front of a computer writing than anything else.
  4. This will be the only post here today, but I am working on another blog post that might come out midweek if I get ambitious [ha-ha].

That’s it. Going to schedule some posts for the upcoming week and getting a better writing day in so I can get out of that scene…

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