Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's done!

Delayed reaction post. I actually finished draft 1 of the book (working title: [redacted due to working title change]) almost a week ago, December 15. It came in at over 72,000 words, and I know that during the editing/rewriting process, I'll be adding a little more. I'm guesstimating that the final draft will be around 75,000 words, which is what I was originally aiming for.

I'm really psyched to get started on the editing/rewriting. I already made a list of goals for the editing process. I don't think it'll take more than 3-4 months to edit/rewrite the parts I want to rewrite/add a couple new chapters. And then I get to start playing the "find an agent" game...

I sent the draft out to be printed (lord knows my crappy little printer couldn't handle that many pages without annoying the ever-loving shit out of me), and I just picked it up today. I admit I squealed when I got back into the car, printed draft in hand. I may have even let out an "Omigod, I wrote this!!!!!!" (oh yes, it was said in a manner that 6 exclamation points are necessary to convey my point).

I'm thrilled and proud that I've done this much. But there is so much left to do...

Friday, September 30, 2011


There have been psychopomps all around me the past few days.

Not in the forms of sparrows a la The Dark Half. Not like that. But in the forms of things that give me a jolt like the icy finger of the ghost of a long-lost loved one, tapping me on the shoulder when it doesn;t even belong in this world.

These things I've seen and heard, they're like the manifestations of ghosts. The image of a ship and murky teal water. A familiar beat over the stereo at a restaurant. The image of a park trail that brought back memories...but no, the trail in this picture was too wide, too open, with less congested trees. Not the same park, but for a moment...

They're ghosts of what might have been. They're ghosts of what never was. I see them, let them startle me for a moment, and then let them go. Where they go isn't for me to know. But I've done a lot of work regarding getting him out of my head, so these ghosts have no place in my world anymore.

The more I let go, the more I let in. More ideas, more characters. For the first time in years, I am solely focused on one person. For the first time in ever, I have given him all of me that I can possibly give. He even, dare I say it, gets my crazy writer side. He gets why I was haunted for so long.

I'll let these little things be psychopomps. Carry the soul of what had been briefly born between two people to somewhere else, some other world. Each experience jolts me for a second, but my shoulders feel a little bit lighter every time.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Home stretch.

It's hard to believe that finally, after all this time, I'm in the home stretch. I have fewer than 20,000 words to write in order to reach my goal word count. I don't think that will be too difficult. I've had a couple writing sessions lately during which I've sat there and written a thousand words in an hour. If I keep up that pace, it's just 20 more hours, or 20 more writing sessions, until I can consider the first draft finished. It hardly seems real.

I want to finish this sucker, print it out, and get red all over it. I want red everywhere that needs tightening, modification, additional words and thoughts, a better word or thought than the one that's already written there, etc. I love to edit, and I've been resisting the temptation to do so the whole time I've been writing the book. I keep having to give myself this anti-editing pep talk: "Bellamy, you remember the last time you started editing a story. You ended up with nothing left of it because you were really hard on yourself. So don't look back, and don't hit the delete key; move forward and write, and save it all, and then when it's all done--yes, all--you can wield that red pen. But only when it's time."

Soon it will be time.

I can't say how long it'll take me to finish. It could be weeks, or it could be months. And it doesn't matter to me, as long as at the end of this story--when it's all written and edited--it feels right.

These days I've been waking up with the characters talking in my head again. Sasha and Riley have full conversations lately in between my ears, and in so doing, they nudge me to get up and write. And so I shall.

Monday, January 24, 2011

When I'm at my worst--I'm also at my best.

I'm a big fan of Californication. Although I don't screw up as much as Hank Moody does, I can relate to him. Like all writers, he's trying to write something while he's fully immersed in the chaos of life. And in last night's episode, when he's hit rock bottom again, something in him snapped. When he really felt like he had nothing left--Karen was mad at him Becca was angry with him, he's got lawsuits to deal with, he doesn't have a ton of money--he isolated himself from the world, and sat down to start bangin' that screenplay out of his trusty typewriter.

I've been there.

I'm there right now.

I don't know what's going to happen. My brain is equal parts swelled with love and logic. But I do know this: the more angry I am, the more in pain I am, the better I can write. It's the way I've always been.

I wrote another 1,000+ words last night. Three more chapters.

And they're damn good.

Exactly the way I wanted them to be.

Even if everything in my own life is not.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Unselfishness shining through.

I was ready to rock and roll with the writing tonight. Maybe I still am. But I have a little roadblock. My character S. is really kind of...selfish. Manipulative. Opportunistic. And I'd come home from work tonight feeling dark and twitchy enough to write her, and write her well.

Then I found out that the person I care the most about was in the hospital today. He told me after he got back--he hadn't wanted to worry me. He has a serious disease, and it was flaring up in a way he hadn't experienced before.

It was like somebody flipped a switch in my brain. I am extremely unselfish around this man. More unselfish than I have ever been around anyone. I would much, much, much prefer that I am in pain than have him in pain. The worst feeling in the world for me is when he is in pain and I can't fix it.

I can't fix this.

And I don't deal well with that.

It's taken a lot of the wind out of me for tonight. The wind that was effectively able to write a rather selfish character, anyway.

I'd exchange all the written words I have in me for him to be healed. (I wish it were that easy.)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Dark places.

The more I write--and oh yes, I've been writing--the more I feel like I'm descending into a cave. I'm exploring the darkest places. The darkest ideas. They're part of this story, and therefore they're also part of me.

Sometimes I'm actually depressed because of it. If you hang around in the dark long enough, your eyes get used to it; you sometimes forget what the light looks like. While I'm generally a reasonably happy person (at least for a twisted writer), even in my happy moments lately I feel like there's perpetually this gnarled, sinister hand touching my elbow, beckoning me to places that most people simply don't go.

But I have to go to these places. For the good of the story. And to some degree for the good of me. Annoyingly self-analytical me.

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." --Nietzsche