My eyes are bleary and my hands are stiff, and I haven't done a lick of schoolwork yet today. But I did write about 1200 words. In 3 hours. That's an average of 400 words an hour. I type 40 words a minute, so that's the equivalent of... ten minutes.
The reason it takes me so long is that I can't usually write nonstop. I write a sentence, get up, pace, sit down, write another sentence, get some coffee, pace, sit down.
See, I just did it again! I wrote those few lines, got up, walked through the house, looked out the window for Jeffrey, paced, stuck my head out and called for him, reassured myself that he was in the yard, then came back in.
It's like I can't think unless I'm moving. I do that when I'm talking on the phone, too. Does that mean anything?
I've been stuck for a few days, both on the plot and on having too many other things to do. The number of undone chores around here is staggering. I have to grade papers, and do lesson planning, and make my notes for tomorrow's classes. And pay bills, and put away laundry, and go grocery shopping, and pick up the dry cleaning, and, and, and....
However, the story is all kind of coming together now, to a natural denouement. I'm already missing my characters; in my mind the book is nearly over. It's like that sad feeling you get when you realize the movie is ending, and you have to throw away your popcorn container and go home.
But! There is always the sequel. Or the prequel. I am starting to think that what I have here is really the second book in a series, not the first one, and that what I need to do is go back and tell the story of how the two main male characters first met and became friends, and the stuff that led up to the war preceding my current story.
This was prompted by an article that had me laughing so hard I couldn't stop. I couldn't breathe; tears were streaming down my face. I was making strange gasping sounds that summoned my husband from the basement to see if I was choking on a grape.
Here it is: The Fantasy Novelist's Exam
The thing that prompted me to think about a prequel was item #27: Does your novel contain a prologue that is impossible to understand until you've read the entire book, if even then? Now, I know this is a dig at Tolkein's prologue to the second edition to The Lord of the Rings, which was an attempt to answer many questions from fans about Middle Earth in general, and Hobbits in particular. However, it made me think about the prologue I had originally written for The Golden Gryphon (which I was told was unreadable), and the problems I have had trying to insert sufficient background information into the story.
My next favorite item is #56
Does anybody in your novel fight for two hours straight in full plate armor, then ride a horse for four hours, then delicately make love to a willing barmaid all in the same day?
My other favorites are #52 "Do you ever use the term "plate mail" in your novel?"
and #42 "At any point in your novel, do the main characters take a shortcut through ancient dwarven mines?"
along with #65"Do you not realize it takes hours to make a good stew, making it a poor choice for an "on the road" meal?
This whole post is an example of a new term I have coined called "Novelling." I spend a lot more time novelling than I do writing. That is, I spend more time talking about, thinking about, blogging about, doing pointless "research" on the Internet for, daydreaming about, planning and doodling illustrations for my novel than I do actually working on it.
Perhaps that is why, at my 2 year anniversary of the beginning of this project, I'm still not done. But I'm sure having a lot of fun!