Time for an update on the novel. I've got about a week left now which is really disheartening. Oh, how I rue all those slow days and times when I said, “Eh, I'll have time for it later.” As I, hopefully, explained, I'm abstaining from the ritual of the word count so I have no idea just how much I've done exactly. At this point it's an academic exercise since I've already filled up my word counter. But judging by the plot outline I'm about a third of the way done now (I've, amazingly enough, been writing in a pretty linear fashion. That's not at all how I usually operate.) if you don't count the prologue I'm not writing yet. Mostly, I don't have a good handle on how to deeal with it yet. It's the part of the book that's gong to set up and establish everything and that's exactly where I got bogged down with the last one, so I've put it off for now. Just don't have a good way of making it active and not about the characters standing around and telling each other the status quo although I do know how to throw the monkey wrench in their to get them to Act Two, as it were. It's just choppy and bumpy getting there and exactly what you don't want to start the book off with. I'll figure it out, eventually, but I don't think I'm going to have the time to write it out by the end of the month.
Fortunately, I think, I don't really need it. The story would be better off with a slow burn, introducing the characters and the issues at play. But I think where I start now includes enough information to get the ball rolling well enough that I might not ever need to include those introductory passages at all.
Without the prologue I'm left with three chapters and a small epilogue. The third chapter, which I'm on now, is by far the longest. It's the one that's got the most ground to cover from start to finish. Unfortunately, the first two chapters aren't doing me much at the moment since I have to rewrite them.
I spent a lot of time driving over the week and that gave me time to think about my plot. And, in doing so, I was able to streamline it a bit. Something I've really been trying to do here now that I've got grand and ambitious plots covering hundreds of characters out of my system. Want to keep this one small and intimate as possible. And, in the service of that, I managed to get rid of or combine a few characters. Shuffle some roles around and eliminate the need for so many distinct characters, shuffle a few more into the background from a formerly prominent role. But since I wrote large blocks of the first two chapters with them around, they don't make sense anymore. And I have to go back and rip them out. Just going through the text is enough to bog me down and, I figure, while I'm at it, I might as well try to rewrite them – it'll be almost the same amount of work of tracking down every instance a character is mentioned or referenced and reworking it, anyway.
So, the practical upshot is that I have almost nothing written for the novel. A lot of groundwork, a really good sense of what needs to get done, but nothing concrete.
My plan, such as it is, is to write my brains out today, tomorrow, and if I'm up to it, Sunday as well. If I'm in spitting distance of the finish line by Monday, then I'll be able to make a final push and get it done. If, on the other hand, I'm not, then I don't think I have it in me to burn myself out trying to get the book done.
So, there it is. I'm well behind where I could, where I should be. And now I'm going into the Batan deathmarch of writing in order to push myself to the finish line.