Thanks to Wynn and Debra for their recent comments! It was nice hearing from you. Yes, it sure does take perseverance, and I think I'll stop by the marina store sometime soon and ask whether they have a can of "TENTACLE-OFF". I think Batman had some of that, I'm not sure. It would take a superhero/ine to keep those tentacles under control without a can of that stuff.
The current word count is 20,624, still in Chapter 8.
The holidays did get in the way of writing, but I kept the novel in mind and continued thinking about the plot and characters. I got back to writing recently and hammered out between 5,000 and 6,000 new words, some of them from rewriting when I replaced text in the later chapters, and some of them new additional words that went into Chapter 1, expanding a brief scene there and helping develop the story in more detail (yet again).
It turns out I keep running into the same problem. The story is about a group of young adults on a long-distance flight. Their plane crashes and a group of them winds up stranded on THE ISLE. The problem is: which ones??? I know for certain the bulk of the group I want to participate in the events that unfold on THE ISLE, but there are a couple of extra characters who are important, and who can be used to good effect, but it also hinders developing other aspects of the storyline if they are present. So, I keep going back and forth with this and it's driving me up the wall.
I tried really, really hard to work out an answer to this, and thought I had it, but again I am never satisfied. As soon as one version looks good, another one looks better. I did hammer down the other big questions that I had previously, prior to my last posting. That stuff has remained solid. It's just this one question at this point, who to keep in the group, and who to let go of. It's a significant issue since whether a character is present or not will impact the bulk of the rest of the book. The two characters that I am going back and forth over are both minor, but important. Their presence or absence will make for very different stories.
A few days ago I was steadfast in my determination to keep them, even working out ways to have them "go away" for a while if needed. Now, since last night, I'm back in the mindset that they should just go away. So, later today I may well sit down and rewrite EVERYTHING after Chapter 3 (about 10,000 words), starting with the premise that those two characters are NOT there and WON'T be after the crash.
Whichever way this ends up, I can't progress until I decide. Oh, the drama of it all! And I'm usually such a low-drama or no-drama person.
In other things, I've been watching a lot of good movies recently, expanding my familiarity with gay and lesbian cinema. I also found a good fantasy novel, finally, with a style that I like and that I can think of as a source of inspiration for me as I write my own fiction.
And, I came across another aspiring writer's blog. He has written the first few chapters of what appears to be a YA novel. I found it when searching for images related to FOG (Google image search), since the survivors on THE ISLE encounter a heavy fog. I wanted to find some nice pictures of fog and island scenes that I could use as wallpaper to help put me in the mood when I sit down to write. When I saw a picture of the cover of the novel, I thought I should check it out. I was incredibly impressed with the author's style. His first chapter is about the tightest, clearest, most focused bit of fiction I've read from an aspiring writer!
I promise to post a link to the free online chapters (Adobe) in the near future. The author has also made the sample chapters available through lulu.com, hence the availability of an image of the cover.
Best wishes for COMPLETION and SUCCESS to all aspiring writers in 2007!