Part II is Finished!

Part II is finished (first draft of it, that is), bringing the tally of words to a staggering 473 thousand. Go me.

It was a difficult one, considering the fact that I had to deal with several characters, simultaneously climbing their individual arcs. Now, since I have dealt with it, I can move on to more fun stuff, like actually hunting—a dragon.

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Random Things to Think about while Waterboarding another Cockroach in the Kitchen Sink

There are a few (the order is random as well). Some, are more entertaining than others:

  • Why does Hillary dress like a cartoon character? Queen Elizabeth II does, too, but she is a queen, she is allowed. She is basically a fictional character anyway.
  • There should be a limit to the number of my own funeral parties that I have to host per week. It gets depressing after a few. Same goes for the cards. My fault, though. Should have kept my mouth shut.
  • I finally have my dream metabolism—no matter what and how much I eat, I lose a pound a day.
  • Today’s episode is brought to you by the letter C and the number 4. As in 4% survival chance (that number had been recently optimistically upgraded to 30—if I make it to the test trials—but at least I have an appointment scheduled for January next year! This is the first doctor’s appointment I am excited about).
  • If you were miserable yesterday, but today you look back at that day with a warm and fuzzy feeling, what exactly does it say about your state of mind?
  • And finally: how come that after working most of my life (with some unfortunate and not at all enjoyed unemployment gaps) I cannot afford to simply stop working and concentrate on my treatment? Although I feel quite ancient, I am apparently too young to retire with a less than ridiculous income, nor can I can expect Social Security Disability Benefits to cover me (I have started the Social Security application and see absolutely no light at the end of the mine shaft)—once I do that, my medical insurance will be over, and I will not be able to afford one on my own, while also clearly not being eligible for Medicaid or Medicare, because my wife makes too much money. Nobody cares that “too much money” is still not enough to pay for my insurance, our current apartment, food—human, cat and dog—and other necessities (like cigarettes and red wine). The system is effectively sentencing me to a painful and not-so-quick death, unless I keep on rowing. Well, I guess, it is what it is going to be.

On that note, back to the Ward (the scene split again, damn it, could not keep going without losing momentum), need to steer my main characters to the second inciting moment. Almost done with Part II!

Sighting time. Here, dragon-dragon-dragon…

E.L.I.S.A.

The above abbreviation stands for Enforced Levity Increased Speed Authoring—which should be my new writing method—named after Elisa, Hans Christian Andersen‘s character from The Wild Swans.

the_wild_swans

One well-documented downside of this method is a possibility that one of my eleven turned-swan brothers might still end up with a wing instead of an arm, no matter how swiftly I knit the magical nettle shirts.

A. K. A. Scenes.

Have to hurry up. My doctor finally caved in and gave me the deadline.

If chemo does not work, I have months. About three. If it does, I have… well… months, still, but waaay more. Maybe even a year. So…

E.L.I.S.A to the rescue. Or so I hope.

The whole band (Verra, Venny, Torvenn, Marque, Ngale, Dae) is only a couple of hours away from reassembling at Stormhold for the first stand-off, and, perhaps—a sighting? Can barely wait to tap-type my way there.

A. T. T. On an irrelevant note (or, perhaps, rather relevant one?), just Skyped with my father.

If I had some guilt about not talking to the man for decades, no more. In about five minutes in the conversation I asked permission to be polite. Given one, I hung up.

He called back.

I hung up again.

Done.

Life is too short to deal with jerks.

On Today

As much as I am reluctant to turn this journal into something it was never intended to be, I have to admit that the reality does somewhat affect my otherwise happy world of fantasy, or—as my wife disaffectionately calls it—Laloland. This morning in Laloland was a tad hectic—which would not be unusual after sleeping over the alarm clock after yesterday’s prolonged alcohol-soaked hearty discussion of how to handle my situation—and yet a tad different, because there was a distinct physical adjustment to the routine.
My breakfast—as simple as it was, just a piece of lean baked pork—decided not to stay in. Jumped out literally while I was still chewing. Bon Appetite.

As much as I enjoy logging less food into my calorie-tracking app, deleting the whole entry seems to be a tad overkill.

Anyway, back to my regular stream of uncounsiounceness: half-way through the pivotal chapter of the book—the last chapter of Part II, The Things That Matter.

There shall be more of those accidents now, I gather. It is only a little over a week since I was diagnosed with cancer.

The trick is not to loose the momentum.

On Dragon’s Physiology

I have finally come up with a totally original concept for the Dragon’s physiology (about time, too—only 4/5 of the story done)! I now know how it works!

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Writer’s Block, or a Slight Case of Between-the-Scenes Anxiety

In my case, the notorious writer’s block manifests itself as a difficulty in coming up with the start and end of another scene. The line in and line out are very important for my process, and often they just come to me naturally. And, sometimes they do not. And, once in a while, I have a hard time figuring out logical continuations to events which just happened in my story, because the longer and more complex the story grows, the more things seem to happen by themselves—at least I feel like I have less and less control over them.

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I Should Stop Measuring My Progress in Words

img_2117Apparently, it is not working. I wrote 1,400 yesterday, finishing a 2,250+ word scene, which was never supposed to grow that long. It just did, mostly because I had committed to diligently show things instead of telling the reader about them, but those things were—in my biased opinion—really worth showing, so… I am 1,400 words ahead of where I was before, and one tiny step closer to the main conflict. I still have to spend at least one more scene convincing my main character to do what she is supposed to do.

Had I an outline, which consisted of more than five items, I could have been measuring my progress by advancing along it, but, alas, in my case, I have been at plot point three for the last several months. Only the words keep heaping up—396,000+ as of this morning.

So there goes my tentative goal of 450,000 words total. It now looks like 500,000. Hard to believe that some time ago, I thought that I might be done at around 300,000. Ha. Ha. Ha.

It is, however, abundantly clear to me that if I did have a detailed outline, I would never find the strength to go through with this project. I would likely write a chapter or two, then calculate that it would take me over a decade to get to the end, and simply quit. There would be no way I would even get to the mark at which I am now. Discovering my way through, lets me successfully convince myself that I am actually going to finish it some day.

And it is way more fun than filling placeholders in an outline.

How do people manage to write 120,000 word novels? My prologue alone is 17,000+ and I consider it somewhat of a short story…