I finished the first draft of "Deadfall" (or "Bigfoot Ranch" or "The Last Honest Man" or whatever I end up calling it).
It came to 66K words, which is 14K words short of the minimum length I need. But I usually add between 15% to 20% to a rewrite as I flesh the story out. I concentrate on getting down the story for the first draft, but it always needs a bit of filling out. Telling details. Character development, description.
The filling out improves the book, and also gives me an entry point for rewriting. For a long time, rewriting was a bit of mystery to me. It was always intimidating, partly because I just couldn't figure out how to do it. It was a little like taking apart a beautiful thing, my first creative impulse.
But by embellishing the book, I find I also automatically do the rewriting, so it's a bit of trick that works.
I still have to write the short epilogue today, and I have several scenes I need to go back and add. Then on to the rewrite.
I find I can do about 20 pages of rewrites a day, usually about 5 pages at a time. I have to take a break between sessions, because it is mentally exhausting to me. Much harder than writing the book in the first place. Nowhere near as fun, but the improvements are undeniable, so I force myself to do it.
If I didn't have to rewrite or edit or prepare books, God knows how many books I could write. Scary to contemplate...
The book turned out to be typically idiosyncratic and quirky...goofy even. I think I can get away with that when I write my usual fantastical stuff, I'm not sure it will work for a thriller, at least not a thriller I'm trying to sell to a publisher. The bulletproof Bigfoot costume made it all the way to the end of the book, torn and tattered and reeking but still there --almost like it was another character.
Not to seem all pure and all, I don't seem to be able to write anything but what the story demands. That is, I can see it going off course but rather than trying to readjust, I let the story be what it is.
With horror or fantasy, I can just always rely on the werewolves or the Bigfoot or the vampires to add some spice to the story.
Not that it's cheating. I enjoy the genre aspects.
"Thriller" is a genre, but no matter how crazy the plot, it is still somewhat more grounded in reality, and I'm uncertain about my abilities there. I love telling stories, but I've never thought they were "real."
I don't know. This whole writing thing is just something I do. I should probably just give up trying to figure it out, but...that is also something I do.
1 week ago