Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hey, I'm a Novelist (sorta)

Well, I had to pound out about 5,000 words yesterday to make the 50,000 word threshold, but I am now an official novelist in the eyes of the folks at "National Novel Writer's Month."

The mighty opus, "The Council of Armageddon," is almost finished. I figure another 3,000 words will bring it to its conclusion, but I wasn't going to be able to complete it before the deadline. So when the counter on my word processing program hit 50,119, I uploaded the almost finished work at about 11:50 pm last night. For my troubles, I received this lovely gift icon:

When the first draft is finished, I will upload it to my site so that any interested parties can take a look at it. I haven't decided whether I will do a second draft -- I'm just not convinced that my writing prowess is sharp enough that I can do justice to the story right now, especially one this long and involved. Argotnaut has said she'll read it when I finish the first draft, and I will rely on her expert criticism to guide my future actions.

One thing I did discover, or rather one thing I was reminded of, was that I can't do serious writing at home. There are simply too many distractions that prevent me from focusing for extended periods. In my case, that focus is vital to achieving the flashes of insight and creativity necessary to do good work. I guess it's like meditation, and there's a good reason why Buddhist monks do not mediate in an environment where dogs and cats can jump up on them and the phone is ringing and they're tempted to watch "Daily Show" clips on the internet or to make another cup of tea rather than continue concentrating.

I did enjoy the process, however. And who knows? Maybe I can make the thing good enough that maybe somebody would want to buy it But for the near future, I have several more promising stories to shop.


tavia said...

NO parrots?

One thing I learned from writing a book: when you've finished the actual text, you're only about half done.

Devon said...

". . . too many distractions. . . " is one of the reasons Marty is working on his book at his cabin.

By the way, I'll send you a pdf of the article in Colorado Central magazine about his summer and his return to Earth Mountain.

Andrew said...

Tavia, sorry, no parrots. I didn't have to resort to them, fortunately. But I did include pirates of a sort, or at least characters who plunder for personal gain at the expense of others.
You are absolutely correct about the completing the first draft being about the halfway point. I, like Dickens, rewrite my stuff ferociously, particularly cutting, cutting, cutting. I've read that Mark Twain's manuscripts (hand written, of course) had very few edits on them. Like Mozart, his drafts were so pristine it was as if he was taking dicatation. I find it hard to believe.

Devon, you did send me the Word doc of Marty's story, which I apologize for not reading yet. Now that I have ejaculated my novel, perhaps I will get off my duff and read it.

Tavia said...

My dear boy, I meant that completion of the FINAL draft is the halfway point. Wait til you publish, you'll see....
And I don't mean to brag (OK I do), but my first drafts are often my last. I think I go over it in my head many times before I write it, so re-writes are mostly a matter of typos and not repeating the same word or phrase too often. I'm looking forward to a copy of Council... (sorry, can't figure out how to underline). Yay you!!