Two years ago, 10/30/2010, I emailed two friends with an idea I had knocking around in my head. Both told me that it seemed like a good idea at the time and that I should pursue it. Well in the months that followed, I would find out that another member of my family was coming and all of the panicked planning that comes with such things and I had kind of forgotten about the idea.
Operative words: “kind of,” as no idea is ever fully killed. Fast forward to 9/10/2012, I was in a conversation with a third friend (mutual to the first two) about something totally unrelated. The conversation turned to books we might write, and I explained to him my idea and how I had been basically sitting on it. His first response was “that kinda sounds like a movie,” and when I lamented that I knew not where I would take the story, as in how to present everything that happens after the conflict (really trying to talk myself out of it), I was more or less told that I am better than that and to DO that shit.
This was at 10:25am, and at 12:20 I had 2,381 words ready. The chapter was VERY rough, in that I had not edited anything and when I went back, one could tell that I had gone over that many words in so little time. To this point, I have also sent the chapter to one of the two previously mentioned friends, two other mutual friends, one cousin and my sister Victoria. The universal response was that each was made to like the character I had created and that EACH was kind of mad that I didn’t have more ready to go right away. In other words, four voices told me to DO THAT SHIT!
I spent days at work and on lunches working on it. I spent Saturday mornings before Ava wakes working on it, I spent every waking moment thinking or talking about developing the story. I freestyled the first four chapters with no plan other than the simple chronology of the story. After that, I sat and mapped out the rest of the story by numbering chapters and putting a small note of what I would want to put in that chapter. At this point, only Victoria has seen more than the first chapter, but is still in the dark as to how I have since developed the story. My mom also knows the whole thing, as she sits in on my brainstorming sessions on the way to work every morning 5 days a week most weeks. A short discussion with a long-time friend about what I was working on left me with someone who was not only willing, but OFFERED to draw my cover art for me.
10/7/2012 – that’s 28 days if you’re counting – I was done writing the book. With a 109-word setup (so as to not have the opening of the book be TOO abrupt), I was looking at 45,274 words. In other words, I was 165 over my target of 45,000.
But I had not edited yet.
The next step was/is to go through and re-read what I had written and make corrections for slight deviations in the story and of course for technical mistakes. Initially, I considered that I had only taken 4 weeks to WRITE the thing and made the assumption that a week was generous to EDIT it. Well, work was busy this week and the task of editing was daunting. I have gone through 8 and a half of 18 chapters, which has made up about half of my word count, which has grown to 46,653 with the aforementioned 109-word lead-in. I have to make a point of going over it one time myself to make some “did I mean/need to say that?” corrections before I can seek the opinion of three more sets of eyes.
At current, I am taking a short break from editing to write this blog, but I am thinking that I will go back in on it some more as the rest of this morning (it is 1am as I type that sentence).
“Write a novel” has been one of my bucket list items, but as I have shared the story and sample chapter with a select few people it seems that I am being told that I might have a good idea here and it might be a good idea to pursue it further. Well, I have nothing to lose, so after my 37-year English teacher/published author aunt has had her time with it, I am swinging for the fences with this thing. Next step will be to try and get this monster published.
Perhaps being able to add "published author" to my resume will help me to get a job that does not hate me.
Pray for me, or wish me luck, or whatever it is you do.