I have been doing lots and lots of “prewriting” for the new book,Seven Stories Up. I now have pages and pages of dialogue-snippets, plot points, and bits-o-description. I know what I’m doing and where I’m going. I KNOW my characters at last.
But I do not have a book.
A month ago, I had a good-sized beginning of a book, but there was something off about the voice, something hollow. I was afraid to continue writing without getting that issue hammered out. So I scrapped the whole thing.
For the last month I’ve gone to bed each night and “had a conversation” with Annie, my main character. Finally she’s started talking back to me. I can hear her now.
But as amazing as my editor is, she will not be able to hear that voice unless I write it down for her. No matter how complete my outline. No matter how copious my notes.
So I’m now on a thousand-word-a-day schedule. Which I loathe. Not because it’s a lot (it isn’t) but because I like to twiddle my thumbs and mull, work in fits and starts. Take breaks.
But I can’t afford that now. Not with 15 hours of childcare a week.
Last time I did this kind of fast draft, I set out to do 2,000 words a day, and ended up sprinting too fast, rewriting half the book after I finished. So this time I’m chopping my daily requirement in half, and hoping that will allow me a more human pace.
Today, I sort out the notes.
Today, I start over.
Wish me luck! Hold me accountable.