Novel Update and Other Stuff

April 12, 2009 in Fantasy, Novel, On Writing by pacejmiller

writerWell, things are kind of back to normal now, except that they’re not.  It’s amazing how busy you can be when there’s really not all that much to do.

The 20-day whirlwind tour across Europe is finally over, leaving me with roughly 2 weeks to do some hardcore study.  After all, the exams are less than 2 months away (shudder – I think I just shit a brick).  But my God it is brutal!  There is nothing more numbing for the brain than reading (and making notes from) a textbook.  Especially a law textbook where one topic runs for 250 pages!  I feel like after every 20 minutes of reading I need to take a 2 hour break (and that has actually happened on a few occasions).

Throw in a movie here and there, the occasional episode of TV and updating this blog (in which the posts are getting too long for my own good), the days shoot by with frightening speed.

But what about my fantasy novel?

Well, it’s still happening.  I stopped working on it about a week into my European vacation, and picked up where I left off yesterday, putting in a solid 2000+ words.  I haven’t done a word count for a while (NewNovelist 2 doesn’t have one), but I’m sure it’s around 100,000 words (and probably about 30,000 words over what I would have liked).  My team of heroes has been officially torn apart, and from here they will lead slightly different paths, at least for a couple of chapters.  It scares me that they’re still not at my ‘half-way’ mark – that place where the characters get a bit of a break from their constant journeying.  If my book was The Fellowship of the Ring, they’re not quite at Rivendell yet.  More shudders.

On the bright side, I’ve got some new ideas and a clearer vision of where I want to lead the story, as well as more defined personalities for my characters and I’ve even spotted some themes I’d like to explore in the second draft.  However, the writing is not progressing as fast as I want – the worst thing about studying all day is that it puts such a big dent in my imagination and concentration that I feel completely braindead when I finally get to work on the novel.

The worst news is that at the current pace, and with the exams approaching, the odds of completing even a first draft before I have to leave the UK are zero.  Reality tells me that in all likelihood I’ll be heading back home after the completion of my Masters and, given the state of the world economy at the moment, return to working long hours at my old law firm (if they haven’t secretly sacked me already).  Which also means any future work on the novel from that point will be at a snail’s pace.  But I’m definitely not giving up on the novel and I’m definitely not giving up on writing for a living – eventually.  I just have to figure out a way to transition into a career in writing while still managing to pay the bills.

Does anyone have any ideas?