I worked at setting some longer-term goals today. After a long ride on the exercise bike, I sat down on the floor with my huge pad of newsprint and wrote down every goal I could think of for myself as writer and publisher into a huge time line of sorts, between now and next fall. I didn’t quite get to a year, but I got close.
It’s big and it’s messy and I’ll have to make some better sense of it in another form, but it was great to get brave and make those commitments on paper. One of my goals is to complete 290,000 words total to get this draft of my manuscript where it needs to be, in order to balance the time given to each of the periods and locales in the book. I’d like to have all those words and sticky problems and plot points all neatly tied up and on the page by March, when they should go for final edits.
Today I realized what a challenge that will be, and I was glad to hit the desk and write. I met and passed my word goal for the day, so I ought to be celebrating, right? In a way, I am. But in a way, I’ve hit that sinking sensation that comes when you know you’ve loads more work to do.
I thought I’d started on the road to tying up one of those sticky plot points just now. I’d made the new character say what I’d planned she’d say to Kate. I’d made Kate listen and consider the advice being given. But my reality is that Kate isn’t buying into the easy way out that’s been offered. So neither can I. She just showed me what she’s made of.
Can I write any more today? I’m not sure. A few minutes ago, Kate thought she would know what to do about the problem plaguing her, because I thought I knew. Well, she doesn’t. How can I keep on writing that?
This is where all the shivery goodness of writing a book comes, in my mind. I’m utterly dismayed at this moment, because I thought I saw my way clear to cranking out a few thousand more words this week. But at the same time, I know with utter certainty that I’m being true to my character, and though I can’t see now how to move to the next phase, I’m asking the question I need to keep asking; “What does Kate need to learn?” That’s the exciting part.
Did something dismaying and exciting happen for you this week?