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Novel Progress Notes #20 - It's Over! (Or ... Is It? Is This How Trilogies Begin?) - The Annals of Young Geoffrey: Hope brings a turtle [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Young Geoffrey

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Novel Progress Notes #20 - It's Over! (Or ... Is It? Is This How Trilogies Begin?) [May. 4th, 2008|09:08 pm]
Young Geoffrey
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New words: 4,599(!)
Total wordcount: 97,936
Deadline: May 1 (possibly reached only three days late)

I think I'm done. Sort of.

Or else.

I might have another 200,000 words to go. Or 100,000. It's really hard to know.

Two nights ago, I thought my protagonists, my brilliant, (almost) impossibly brave and brilliant young heroine, was nearing the end of her journey. All I needed to do was offer a little guidance to get her there.

Last night, I wasn't so sure. Today, after more words than I think I've ever written over one session in my entire life, I am almost certain she (my (almost) impossibly brave and brilliant young heroine, has only reached the end of the first stage of her journeys, of her trials and tribulations.

The battle she won today feels like a psychological, if not necessarily a dramatic, end-point. Suddenly, what I had thought was a short, four-section novel of light-fantasy threatens (promises?) to in fact be a much bigger, 12 section trilogy.

I swear to god, I didn't intend this. I didn't want this. But "this" seems to be what has happened.

Unless I am sadly mistaken (which is certainly possible; see below), I have written a novel that will satisfy and frustrate at the same time. It feels right to end it where it has ended - a story has been told - but the story has not. It's not over. It's the first volume.

Oh shit. This really wasn't what I thought would happen. Worse, it isn't what I wanted to happen.

But I think it is what has happened.

Instead of finishing (the first draft of) a small piece of light entertainment, I've only completed the first section - of three(?) of a much longer, much more ambitious, piece of "epic" light entertainment.


Had I not enjoyed so much of what I typed today, I might have been willing to give up these 4,600 words as a botch and go back to them tomorrow. But I did enjoy them.

They felt right.

And the story seemed to expand as I wrote.

So. Have I just finished my first novel in something like 20 years? Or am I only a third or so of the way through it?

I am honest to god not sure.

If I am right in thinking it's going to be a trilogy - (and Jesus god - "Jorslem was sick of following after his mother, sick of being a little boy. He was nearly 11 years old and only he, of all his old friends, had yet to be taken away by the men to learn to hunt. Only he still gathered berries and roots with his mother!

"But if he had not been called? His heart sank as he thought of his uncle Shyman, an old man who was mocked by all his friends, for he still sat with the women in their patches! Surely he would end up as a figure of mockery like that!" Ahem. A little digression, there. For the record. For my record) - and for the moment, I think I am - then I guess I can, in good conscience, avow that I have finished it tonight.

It's done.

The first draft, that is.

But the story continues. And not in the episodic way I had first (and even until Friday night) envisioned.

Shit. I think I'm writing a trilogy.

* * *

But I'm not sure.

I'm going to take tomorrow off. Off to see an optometrist. Off to monster.ca and charityvillage.ca and any other job-site I can think of; no more picking and choosing - resumes off to every job for which I might, possibly, be qualified. I don't want to lose my apartment.

And on Tuesday, I'll either start a short story, or try to jump-start the "literary" novel I talked about a couple of weeks back. Either way, I'll go a week without giving any thought to "Jewel".

And a week Tuesday, I'll print out these 97,821 words, and I will hie myself off to a patio if it's sunny, and I will read what I have wrought.

And then?

And then, Gentle Readers, whether 'tis good news or bad, I'll report back to you.

[User Picture]From: fadefromnothing
2008-05-05 02:55 pm (UTC)
Dear, I'm in a similar position here.
I just had an interview, however, with a creative placement agency and I'm waiting to hear back, but prospects looked good. I'll give you a call later today in the evening and tell you about it.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-05-06 03:41 pm (UTC)

Interviews Are Good

Creative placement agency, eh? Sounds intriguing; I hope your prospect works out. Unfortunately, one about which I'd had some hopes appears to have mis-fired, for the moment at least.

I kinda feel like I'm you're age again, only my expenses are about more than twice what they were back in the day (in inflation-adjusted dollars). Which, from a bourgeois perspective is a sad commentary on the way I've lived my life, now that I think about it. Good thing my own perspective lies in another direction.

I'd love to hear your voice and I expect to be around tonight, if you're in the mood for a chat. Or whenever you're in the mood, really.
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[User Picture]From: sooguy
2008-05-06 01:17 am (UTC)

That's some milestone! I can't believe you wrote 4,600 words in one go.

Trilogies aren't a bad thing. Especially if you can convince someone to take you one based on the first novel.

At least you are in the swing of things which is more than I can say for me right now and my own writing.

If you get through some edits and need beta readers, give me a shout. I am not a fantasy reader, but that may be a good thing.

Good luck with the job hunt.
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[User Picture]From: ed_rex
2008-05-06 03:57 pm (UTC)

Can't Stop With the Finish Line In Sight

I'm not sure I've ever managed that number before; if I have, it was a very long time ago.

Thinking commercially, trilogies are probably an excellent thing, but I sure as hell didn't see it coming until very near the end (or "end"). Mind you, I had sequels in mind from the get-go, just because I am quite fond of my protagonist and can just see her going from adventure to adventure, just for the fun of it, even if by-the-way she's got to save this world and that (not to mention her own skin).

There's room in this world for good old-fashioned fun, I say!

Sorry to hear your own work is going so slowly. Given what you've got on your plate in life, though, it's not unexpected. Have you thought about trying to set a specific daily target? Even 250 words a day would see you with a complete novel in less than a year.

As for being a beta reader, thank you. I'll definitely take you up on your offer, if I decide to go that route.

Technically, the first beta reader will be me. I'm going to print out the manuscript in a week or two, taking the resulting mess pages to a patio and start reading. If I am not felled on the spot by self-loathing for what I have wrought, I'll have to give serious thought to whether I want the input of others or if - per my father's advice - I'll take only my own counsel until I'm reader for a profession editor's opinion.

I suspect I'll go the beta route, since I did get useful commentary back in the workshop days. I think my hesitation is largely due to my primal fears that I'll decide I've written 97,936 words of crap.

Right. Off to troll for a job!
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[User Picture]From: pakaboori
2008-05-06 10:19 pm (UTC)
Congrats. Enjoy the week off :)
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