Chapter 8 took me a long time. Writing it involved a lot of procrastination. I first sat down to write it at least an hour before midnight, Sept. 29/30 – and immediately spent an hour and a half re-writing the end of chapter 7. (If you read the version that’s been on Smashwords since 9/29, which ends with Chapter 7, be sure you re-read the end of 7; I turned 2 paragraphs into a 900-word vignette.) Then I stopped for food, watched a movie, and otherwise procrastinated & stalled, writing only ~600 words in the next 6 hours. By 10PM on the 30th, having had only 3 hours of sleep, I’d read dozens of articles about Google Wave, started a blog post on Self Publishing, posted an episode of the Modern Evil Podcast, and only managed to get about 1500 words of chapter 8 written. Then stayed up until almost 3AM on the 1st, adding only a couple of paragraphs in the next 5 hours.
Why was I procrastinating so much? In a tweet I put it this way: “It feels like I’ve been avoiding an actual argument with someone I care about, rather than an argument between 2 of my characters in a book.” – If that’s not clear, I’m saying that I had become emotionally involved with the characters in my book, and I was avoiding writing the argument in a way similar to how one might attempt to avoid an argument they knew was coming with someone they care about in their real life. But the argument was important. I’m not sure I’ve got it right, either; I’ve been avoiding re-reading it in the same way I was avoiding writing it.
October 2nd I didn’t get any writing done. I tried a couple of times, wrote a sentence or two at most, but it was a struggle. And then it was the Art Walk, downtown. And then it was the weekend (spending time with my wife seems to supplant getting work done – I realized recently that this probably represents an unconscious but real prioritization where my wife & my marriage are more important to me than my work/art/writing, which seems like a reasonable prioritization), and then… well, then last night I woke up at 11PM and … after checking my emails and eating breakfast and a watching an episode of Dexter, at around 3AM I was ready to get to work. Monday morning, as it were. In about an hour and a half, I wrote the final ~750 words of chapter 8, and updated it on Smashwords.
Ouch, that was a long one. One hour shy of six days between updates, after having taken only five and a half days to write the first 7 chapters (over half of the book!). Then, I spent the rest of today writing chapter 9. Twelve hours is a lot better than six days, though it’s nowhere near as fast as I wrote the first half of the book. There was plenty of stopping to think instead of writing right through. It was a struggle. It even required a change of venue (I wrote the 2nd half of chapter 9 at the library).
But Stacy is back in the picture for a while, now. It’s a lot easier to write when there’s more than one living person present in the scene. Heck, even one living person and some specific zombies is easier to write than one person and a nonspecific zombie infestation they’re effectively avoiding significant contact with. I’m trying to keep this book from getting to be too introspective. I mean, it’s still introspeculative fiction, but leaning toward action and somewhat away from contemplation. With Stacy in all the remaining chapters (in one way or another), I’m thinking they’ll flow somewhat smoother.
If sleep goes okay tonight and I’m able to concentrate tomorrow, I should be able to finish at least chapters 10 & 11. Maybe more, if I’m really on a roll. Still on track for 13 chapters. Maybe I’ll hit the end of the first draft by Wednesday afternoon. That would be nice. If you haven’t started reading, yet, the first four chapters are still free, or you can buy access to the full text (including all future updates and the final eBook edition), currently priced at $2.99. Remember, the price you pay is all you need to pay, so the sooner you buy in, the better for you. Feel free to wait & buy the paperback from me, currently estimated to be ~$10. 😉