The past several days I did manage to get some quality work time in on my writing. I finished editing, and went back even to those first chapters which I had previously declared "finished". Well, they're really finished now! At least, for a while. Until I look at them again . . . .
I took out those two chapters, as I mentioned last time, and went back and rewrote them. I also edited that somewhat, and have moved on. I'm currently in Chapter 9, over half-way into it. The word count is growing and I'm happy with the story as it is developing, and especially the characters, the way they have distinct personalities and perspectives. They are a lot of fun to work with!
The tone of the piece has been changing due to the gravity of the situation. I did manage to bring it back in line with the earlier chapters for the two chapters that I tossed and rewrote. I may have to do the same with the new Chapter 9 and maybe several more, writing then rewriting, to develop the story then bring it back into the style that has otherwise been established. That's okay with me, as long as I get the end results I'm looking for, and so far I have been able to do that.
Again, this problem is due to the fact that the story started out somewhat light-hearted in nature, and has become much more serious as the plot events unfolded. I don't want to just make it silly and funny throughout -- that would be totally out of step with the realities that occur along the way -- but I want to keep the same optimistic and fun quality, letting that resurface whenever it can, even in the face of the difficulties. Also, I tend to shift to a deeper, heavier, style with longer sentences and different sentence patterns and diction when dealing with weighty matters, whereas otherwise this story is lighter with shorter sentences and a faster-moving rhythm.
Wynn noted that I count words in a recent comment she posted. Yes, but I don't actually count them every day necessarily. I've gotten away from that sort of intense monitoring of words produced, which I used to engage in regularly. These days I'm just checking to see that I am making progress, and I am trying to keep my chapters to certain lengths, not too long. I am noting the word counts and chapters edited since they help me see that I am making reasonable progress for the hours spent. When the word count is too low, or the editing too little, then I know I'm not being as productive as I should be. Also, when they go up, I can see that I am on a roll and that feels good. Obviously, we each do whatever works for us. In my case, quantifying and monitoring help me to keep on track and estimate the time I will need.
On that note, I'm still hoping that I will complete this novel by the end of this calendar year. Hopefully, that will mean completely finished and edited, and with any luck even before Christmas. I'd like to send copies of it as gifts to a few friends who would enjoy reading it. And after I let it sit over the holidays, I'll make any last-minute fixes then start packaging it and trying to get an agent or publisher interested in it, hopefully starting in January, 2008!
And then somewhere in all this I'll get back to work on my other two novels!
Wishing everyone much progress now that "writing weather" is on its way,