Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Dark Immolation Progress

You may have noticed the progress bar for Dark Immolation slowly creeping up--at 4% now.

I have to say, it's wonderful to actually be composing again. Revisions have a certain appeal, but they have a certain, well, tediousness to them, too. Composing (or writing a first draft of a story), while much more difficult, is far more interesting, rewarding, and compelling. This is where the magic happens. This is where ideas I've never remotely considered begin popping off the page. It's where characters take shape, where they cut their teeth.

And, I have to say, Sarca--the main protagonist of Dark Immolation--is definitely taking shape. She's pretty freaking awesome. Or, at least, she will be by the time the book is done. DI is a bit of a coming of age story, a bit of a character study, and a bit of a zombie fantasy survival novel. It's basically awesome.

My current goal for writing DI is at least 1000 new words each day. So far that's been turning into 1200-1300, which is good news. I'm starting the goal small because it usually takes a while for me to build momentum with new projects. During the most intense parts of Duskfall I was pumping out 3k, sometimes almost 4k every day--a pretty lofty goal. Hopefully, with DI, I'll get to that point again. But for now it's a minimum of 1k/day. And sometimes those 1000 words take me an hour (which was the case Monday and Tuesday); sometimes they take me five (which was the case today--but that last hour flew). It's sort of weird how writing works, isn't it? As I get further along in DI, I expect to be more productive in the same amount of time. I don't know how that works, but it does. At least for me, at least so far.

It's interesting working on another novel, too. I finished DF five years ago, and while I've technically "started" two novels since then (about 20k words on one, about 7k words on another--which happened to be the first version of DI, actually), I haven't committed to any new projects. Between getting an MFA (and writing a collection of short stories as a thesis--the past 5 years have consisted of a lot of short stories, for me), teaching, and revising DF, I haven't had much time. But, now that DF is basically out of my hands, there's no better time to start something new. And it's exciting. It's also terrifying. The fear of belly-flopping and writing a complete disaster of a novel is sort of omnipresent. The very prose I'm writing often feels just...well...awful. But I'm a discovery writer, and it helps to remind myself of that. My first drafts are almost always, to quote Anne Lamott, rather shitty. First drafts are where the magic happens for me, but later drafts are where the magic comes together in something cohesive, coherent, and relatively well-written. So here's to that happening.

Anyway, there's a brief update on what's going on with me. Progress on DI is creeping along. In other news, my wife and I are planning for a trip to Italy we're taking later this year--we're going to be backpacking around the entire country, from Palermo to Milan. It's going to be aaaamaaaaziiiing (in Jean-Ralphio falsetto, in case you didn't catch that). So that is happening, too.

Basically, I'm just plugging away.

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