I have just survived a 2k day. By “survived” I mean that I haven’t gotten anything done except showering, buying some sponges at the corner CVS, walking some bills to the mailbox, feeding myself leftovers from last night’s dinner, and writing two thousand words. And by writing two thousand words, I mean two thousand words starting from the beginning. Again. Hopefully for the last time, because I think I’ve finally found the appropriate shape for this story. I have, at least, realized that the source of external tension wasn’t driving the story, which meant it was growing all sorts of weird limbs that refused to work together.
I’m hoping that this story is about 20 pages, double-spaced–maybe 22. About six thousand words, although for a first draft I’m guessing it’ll be closer to 7k.
The amount of material I’ve written for this so far, divided between seven word documents, is 27 single-spaced pages, or 15,246 words. Not all unique words, granted–I copy and paste passages sometimes. But holy cow, right? I haven’t even finished a first draft yet.
This is why I need deadlines. I am spending too long searching for this story.
Those figures don’t include the various forays I’ve made into first person perspective from my MC’s teenage daughter–who doesn’t exist in the version of the story I’m currently writing. Earlier this summer I struggled over whether to write it from her point of view, or from his. While both potential stories lead up to the same event (skunks!!), they are “about” very different things–they are different stories.
The daughter’s act is primarily one of witnessing, and what she does internally with what she sees. Where she comes from begins to make sense of who she might become, what she expects for her future. It’s not quite explicit for her yet–things are just starting to click into place–so it needs to be in first person. The reader can see all she sees, and–by juxtaposing this against what she thinks–can also see what she doesn’t, can put together the things she can’t yet.
From her father’s perspective–even though, in this case, he’s not her father–the story is one of decisions.
I decided to go with the father. But now and then the daughter’s voice keeps coming back, and I think I may have to–someday–write both. For now, I write a couple of paragraphs to placate her, and go back to her father, who is giving me trouble enough.
Wish me luck.