So far (having not done my writing for the day yet), my wordcount for the month stands at 5283 words! (⌒▽⌒)☆ That’s pretty good, I think; I’m proud of myself for managing that in between everything else in my life. The more I get involved with my writing projects, though, the more I understand the whole stereotype of writers not having any other hobbies or much of a social life — I used to not understand the whole myth of the writer being holed up while their friends and family are off having a good time, but now I can see the mouth of that rabbit hole, and I can see how really easy it would be to just slip into that and not come up for air. (At the same time, at least at this point, I still refuse to give up my other hobbies. I’m not an extrovert by any stretch of the imagination, but I do get lonely and sad when I have absolutely no social interaction beyond the route encounters I have at my dayjob. I don’t want to give up the things that connect me with a lot of really cool people, though I am okay with gently scaling them back.)
At this point, the novel I started on June 1st is ~60k words. As I was doing some idle outlining (not anything too serious; I still can’t do “real” outlining, but I can at least jot myself notes in vaguely chronological order), I had the epiphany that this story is probably going to be too large for a single book alone — even if we assume by conventional standards that a full-length novel is 100k words or thereabouts, that’s just not what’s happening here. Sixty thousand words in and I am introducing elements that still need time to build and to develop, and there is a very clear and clean “breaking” point. I don’t know if I can get to that in 40k words. I don’t know how much will need to get cut out and tightened up for the sake of a cleaner read.* I do know that I have enough material that I want to write and explore that this is going to be a far, far longer story than I originally anticipated.
* I do think I draft things fairly cleanly the first time around. The fanfic I’ve written over the years has pretty much only ever been spellchecked and cursorily looked over before being posted, which is perhaps to my detriment, but I do think I have a fairly decent grasp on language and flow. My pubbed stories have definitely gone through a betaing process, and I suspect this novel (/these novels) will require quite a bit.
The thing is, nothing that I have written down in my novel is something “new” to me; it’s all stuff I have been shuffling through in my head and reordering and reconsidering, both over the past month and the past two years, since this story first began percolating. At this point it barely resembles the short story that was its original incarnation, because it has all the things that I’ve had to cut out (well, except for one scene in particular, but that will just have to live forever alone in my imagination) and all the things I’d wanted to do, but hadn’t had the time with the original deadline. It’s just that now, in the process of writing it and laying things down in a more concrete fashion, I realize that my plans for a single shot are … really not geling in the way I thought they would. ヽ(；▽；)ノ Ha ha oops.
And there are other stories that I really want to work on that are just as interesting and exciting, but I only have so much time in a day, and I don’t want to turn into the same scatterbrained writer I was before, unable to finish a longer project because I got distracted by some new shiny. I really want to finish this thing and its second half; I want to go back and write the sequel to a (still-unpublished half-edited) story; I want to recruit someone to help me so I can write a really terrible visual novel; I want to do so many things and so far I haven’t really succeeded in any huge endeavors, but boy do I have hopes and dreams! (Me and everyone else, really, but I can only take responsibility for my own life.)
In my heart, my five-year plan is to keep writing and evaluate how I am doing as a self-pubbed (and maybe small press? I’m looking at small presses that are interested in the sort of stuff I write) writer and whether I can try to transition to doing that more seriously and more intensely. Maybe at that point I’ll be doing decently well as a writer! Maybe at that point I’ll be exactly where I am right now — or worse off! I don’t really know, and I know this is the sort of thing one has to be patient and persistent for, and if nothing else, I can do persistence, even if I am still not so great with patience. But this past week has blown some of my smaller plans out of the water, and who knows how things will go in the bigger picture of things.
(Wish me luck, I am going to need it. ( ´ ▽ ` )ﾉ )