So I lost five days solid of cranking out the post-apoc tale. Nothing could be done about it, life just swaggered in through the door and got in my way. My thousand words a day minimum dried up into a festering ball of fish crap and lay on the counter, choking me with its stink. Still, this isn’t a mournful post where I curse the restraints on my time. Quite the contrary, in fact.
See, Eel Town is about as organic as it comes. I sit at my desk, pop open the word processing app and start slamming keys. Sure, it works at around the tune of 1k words per day (did I just say that?) Sometimes things go a little higher. For the better part of a week, they went a whole lot lower (I definitely just said that). Luckily, I’m a filthy little word cheat who likes to keep a project or two on the side.
While smashing out my second post-apoc western, I’ve been scribbling notes for an idea based on the old superhero jive. No, I haven’t read a comic in the better part of 30 years (Elf Quest, if you’re interested), but I’ve seen a lot of superhero movies (Orchid loves them).
Part of the reason I’ve been twitching on an outline is I noticed that although going in blind is one big bucket of crispy fried fun, it’s also damned slow. When I started this blog, I set myself a challenge of writing a 17.5k novella in 24 hours. With only 5 hours of plotting to hand, I managed to crash out that word count in less than 12. That’s a big difference in productivity (although it is kinda offset by the amount of ideas I trash at the planning stage), so I wondered if I had a kinda project-on-the-side, I’d pay less attention to the inner critic as I wasn’t working on my ‘proper’ story.
Turns out, as ideas go, it wasn’t so bad. Although I’m miles behind my previous record of 17.5k (commitments, who’d have ’em?), I have punched out 4k words since sitting down to write this morning. Since this little romp into vigilante justice is set to be about 20k long, I’ve completed 20% of the project in on sweat-soaked sitting.
What does all this waffling mean? Not a lot really, but also maybe something important. See, Tin Man (working title, obviously) is now my main project. Since my crystal ball is a little cracked, I can estimate completion by the end of the month. ‘Course, life’s a bit crazy this year, so maybe I’ll get it done by the time the kids really start chatting about Santa. If I get a lot more days like today though, I’ll be hitting that publish button a whole lot sooner.
In case you care about Eel Town, I’ve not abandoned it completely. Visser’s crouched in the mud, staring into the barrel of a sawed-off and wondering how the hell he got there. It’s an interesting position, but I’ll have to wait before I find out where it’s going. I’m enjoying both the setting and characters, so I’ll definitely return, but since it’s looking to be a (possibly) novel-length work, I’ll pick it up when Tin Man’s done. Chances are though, I’ll work on another bit on the side while I’m at it. Writing blind and plotting on the side seem to be an excellent productivity tool.