Well, sort of. The first wife-readable draft is done, which is a huge weight lifted (looks like you have some new reading material, Emily).After my initial editing pass, I discovered a pretty upsetting plot hole. But today I finally got it fixed, and I can take a break from thinking about this book. In its current version, it clocks in at 78,700 words. That will, of course, change by the time it is in its final form (the very roughest draft finished at around 81k), but it’s a respectable length, even though it won’t quite come in over 80k like I had hoped.
I don’t know what to say except that I am very relieved to have got the book to its current state. I suffered many assaulting doubts while I was writing and while I was editing. Even though it is not yet in book form, it is a great relief to have finished the hardest part of the work, and I am very proud of it so far. I look forward to sharing it with you sometime in the hopefully-not-too-distant future.
All my novelist friends: keep on writing! Work through the doubts! Trust the process! Keep on chirping!
Today, I broke 80,000 words on my work in progress. This was my original goal. In fact, it had been my goal when writing Schafer, though I only made it somewhere in the 70s on the first draft, dropping to 69.5k after revisions made it ready for submission. I’ve always been a little insecure about the short length of my previous books, so for me, it’s a pretty big deal to surpass this barrier.
I am very close to the end, too. I believe I’ll finish this first draft this week or next. While it’s likely that later revisions will shorten the manuscript, meaning it isn’t guaranteed the final book will end up past my goal, I’m very happy to have made it so far. I will be celebrating with some of the leftover birthday cake Emily got me (chocolate cake, peanut butter frosting, topped with peanut butter cups).
Though I still have a little more work to do on this draft (then a lot of work to do in editing and revision), I’m feeling very satisfied today and hopeful that this book isn’t going to turn into the disaster I feared (I always get scared in the middle of a project that it’s all going to implode and leave me with an unfixable mess—this has happened before).
Happy Thanksgiving to you all in advance! I’m preparing a special traditional Thanksgiving dish that is a family recipe we call meat stuffing. My house smells like meat, potatoes, onions, and cloves. 🙂 Tomorrow I’ll take it with me to share with some friends my wife and I are staying with in Beckley.
Hey, if you’re in the Huntington area this weekend, stop by Empire Books & News on Saturday (Nov 25th). They are hosting their Annual Holiday Open House from 10 am to 10 pm as a part of Small Business Saturday. There will be a story time with Wonder Woman, music, tea, raffles, specials, and a bunch of West Virginia authors there to meet you and sign books! (So don’t spend all your money on Black Friday…) I’m scheduled to be there from 1pm to 4pm. Hope to see you there!
Click on the image below for more information on the event: In other news, I’m preparing to write a Bigfoot novel, so if anyone out there has any sightings or stories, or knows of any Bigfoot expeditions coming up soon that I could join, email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Well hello! Didn’t expect to see you standing there next to my hole! Wow, doesn’t the sun hurt your eyes up here? So bright… I’ve been down there for so long, tunneling away…
I’ve been making good progress on my WIP. Today I passed the 50,000 word mark! And there is still plenty left in the story. I’m happy to be so sure that this will be my longest novel yet (When the Watcher Shakes is somewhere around 60,000 words, and Little One is around 55,000). At the beginning of this, I was really hoping that I would be able to make it to 80,000. Right now, I’m feeling that goal could become a reality in as little as a month! (And I still don’t have a good title! That’s okay, I usually don’t come up with one until after the story is finished anyways.)
But the real goal is not necessarily to reach a certain word count, but to tell a good story at a good pace.
In other news, I’m still competing in the Next Great Horror Writer Contest over at HorrorAddicts.net. I can’t say that I’m really doing great overall, at least so far, but I am glad to finally say that I won the most recent challenge, which was to create a short spoof radio commercial script for a fake horror-related product. The judges really liked mine. You can read the script here: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2017/05/22/nghw-winner-of-commercial-spoof-timothy-huguenin/
If you want to read the top eight spoof commercials, here’s the link for that: https://horroraddicts.wordpress.com/2017/05/21/nghw-top-8-commercial-spoofs/
Alternatively, you can listen to their recent podcast episode, and hear my commercial acted out at the end!
Well, back to digging. I’ll see you again sometime soon, I hope.
A reminder to those interested: Little One will be released in July! You can mark your calendar and hope to remember—or you could just sign up for my email newsletter, and make sure you don’t miss it or any future publications!
I’m getting close to the end of my current WIP’s first draft. I had hoped to have a 70,000 word manuscript to edit by the end of this month, but the story is starting to wind down already, and at this rate I’ll be happy to get to 60k (the final version of When the Watcher Shakes is somewhere around 60k words, in case you were wondering). That’s all right, since it’s still in the novel-range, but it’s still probably going to be on the short end, and I had hoped to bring something a little heftier to the table next summer for those of you that read through WTWS in one day.
I don’t want to give too much away this early, but a character in my new book (currently untitled) identifies a lot with her literary hero, Edmond Dantes. But it had been so long since I’d read The Count of Monte Cristo that I decided I needed to go back and reread Dumas’s famous and influential work again.
I have mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, it is wayyyyy long. The copy I own is just over 1,200 pages (I’m currently looking down the home stretch at page 1,040). And the print is not very large. I remember loving this book and tearing through it when I first read it, I think the summer of ’08 or ’09. And I guess you wouldn’t say that I’m slouching in pace this time, either. But there is just so much going on in this book. I think it suffered from being written as a serialized piece; it’s like every three chapters he pulls yet another plot point out of thin air to work into the story, like a J. J. Abrams TV series stretched longer than its run should have lasted. I often find myself thinking, Oh come on, why didn’t Dumas just name this guy the Count of Deus Ex Machina? Also, the Count doesn’t really become a very likeable or identifiable character. If I didn’t feel like I needed such a thorough refresher, I probably would have given up by now.
On the other hand, this book is, of course, a classic, and there’s a reason it has stood the test of generations. Every night before I go to sleep, I reluctantly but faithfully return to this improbable tale, and somehow I still usually find myself stretching my bed time for “just ten twenty more pages.” Convoluted as the plot gets, Dumas does seem to keep track of most of it and tie it together completely as he goes, if not always believably. And there is some imagery in this book that just can’t be beat. Edmond’s escape from the Château d’If is one of my favorite scenes in all of literature (Yeah, sorry, no spoiler alert–it’s been 172 years, you’ve had time–besides, at that point you’re only like 2% into the book).
But it turns out that I might just finish The Count at the same time as, or maybe even prior to, the finishing of my rough draft. It would be pretty cool to finish on the same day. My main takeaway from this experience? I wish I could write as fast as I read.