I can feel the doldrums coming.
Halfway through Biome NE47, I felt overwhelmed by despair: this story would never resolve itself. As Margaret Atwood mentioned in a recent Guardian Book Club, novel writing is a kind of hacking through. It’s a necessary chore.
Now just at the halfway point of Prequel, with all the components in place for the story-telling, I just have to resolve the seven strands. Simples, right? But . . . no. It doesn’t feel simple at all. The doldrums are at my shoulder.
I think this is where the discipline, which the daily word count imposes, comes into its own. If I can just keep cranking along, making a steady course of 1000 words a day (usually developed as 5000 in a working week), then I shall be finished with Chapter Five by the end of February.
That will leave all of March to finish the final 20,000 words which will bring Prequel to an anticipated target finish of 70k. But the doldrums make it feel as if I’ll never get the resolution I crave.
The thing with the discipline is this: I’ll feel worse, really despairing, if I don’t put something down, if I don’t achieve the wordage target, than if I do, even if rather a lot of the first draft is dross. If the first draft does hang together, if it seems to work, then the next step, the joyous part, is in the finessing.
I’m rather looking forward to that part.