I finished chapter three last night. Right now it clocks in a little over 20k words. That’s one third the size of ALT. It’s funny how, every day, this story keeps surprising me. I didn’t think it would be this big at the start. So far chapter 3 is the shortest, falling somewhere around 3k or 4k, whereas the first two are approximately 8k.
I find myself surrounded by the same concerns, fears and doubts that have plagued me since I finished the first book three years ago. It goes back to writing something and wondering if it’s too long or too short, if I should add or subtract and, if so, where should the cuts be made, and so on. I can feel it there in the back of my brain, picking away at me and at the story, and every time I open the document I fear it’s going to come on so strong and so urgent that I end up erasing large chunks and starting over, trapping myself in a perpetual loop of “never quite there.”
Fears and doubts. That’s all they are. I woke up earlier this week and told myself that this is a different book. It’s a sequel, but a different book. It’s going to require effort on the part of its reader, in that it assumes the reader is familiar with the characters. I’m not going to spend pages explaining the relevance of Donovan and Sparrow’s ties to one another, nor am I going to explain the implications of the Monochrome. Maybe I should? Who knows. That’s for a later draft. For now I’m moving ahead at full speed and I’m going to let my second thoughts slow me down. I did that once and I lost a great novel because of it. It’s not going to happen with this one.
So yes, chapter three is done. The stage is set. The main players are in place. I don’t know how many chapters there will be. Given their size and pacing so far, and with a target of 80k, I’d say there might be twelve chapters. I may return to this post in six months and laugh at myself. I suppose we’ll see.
Lately I’ve found things come best if I write before going to bed. I’ve started around 10PM and worked until midnight, gone to bed and woke up with the story still in my head. That’s a very good sign. I’ve been listening to a soundtrack of selected NIN tracks on repeat every night. They are songs which play out like a soundtrack to the film in my head. Maybe I’ll post a track list if anyone’s interested.
For now I’ve got to get back to work. My mother’s coming for a visit this weekend, so Erica and I are spending our free time tidying up the place. I hope to start chapter four before she arrives, but if I don’t, that’s okay too. I won’t say no to a short break.
In the meantime, leave a comment if you’re interested in reading a preview. I may post something if there’s enough demand.
Until next time,