This Close

FROM 42K SATURDAY MORNING to as close to damn-all 50K as makes no never mind at bedtime is, if I do say so myself, damned good. (Actual count, 49,157.)

On the earlier post, Our Curmudgeon gave some good advice if you’re faced with what looks like an open-ended project with no hope of finishing: finish the damned thing! That is, write the end or whatever before you go any farther. Get it nailed down and then fill in the gaps in between.

Sort of like doing the edge and corner pieces of a jigsaw puzzle first. Sets the bounds. Establishes the frame of the whole.

I kind of slighted it in my response, essentially because that’s exactly what I was doing already. But that doesn’t stop it from being damned good advice. And my day’s progress today is evidence of it.

I had been working the end points for some time. Well, thirteen years, almost, in fact. What I had done was to take the ending of my first draft — the story “Report from New Xenaland” from the original Apocrypha — and plunked them down in the right places in the manuscript, then told Scrivener not to include them in the compile. Which meant, when I compiled for a word count, I didn’t get those fragments. And there was part of a buildup to the climax, bits and pieces of climactic scenes (which have all changed by now), as well as the pieces of the denouement I want to preserve and use in this draft.

So, once I’d made all the decisions on how things are to go together, and how I want to proceed going forward, I could simply click a tick box and have the wordage added to my total. The writing was already (nearly) done, you see.

Meanwhile, Sarah Hoyt has finished the novel she’s been writing online (well, she’s been posting her drafts practically as each bit is written, which seems eerily similar to how the Apocrypha first appeared in public. And she offers some advice to writers who may suffer the same debilitations she does.

It’s kinda funny to read her talking about letting a work sit for a couple of weeks so you can get some distance. I’ve been letting the Apocrypha sit since 1999. But still, and again, damned good advice. Read it and heed it.

I’m having trouble keeping my eyes open and my head up. Say, “Good night,” Gracie.

Good Night, Gracie.

Heh. Good night, Moon.

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