In the last episode of W3.doc Update we focused primarily on the fact that the story of W3.doc has not been going, shall we say, quickly.
I have spilled a lot of ink - to use the non-digital terminology - discussing the various and sundry blockage issues that have plagued me at points along Winston's latest journey.
There have been positives too, to be sure, particularly in Costa Rica, and more recently, on a quick, five-day trip to the Maritimes for a law conference. The recurring theme I keep encountering is that writing productivity seems to be enhanced by travel. No surprise there, I suppose, particularly to fellow writers: there's just something about being on the road that makes me want to pick up the pen - literally, the pen, in my case - and get writing, even if I'm not writing anything at all to do with the area in which I am traveling.
Under ideal circumstances I would be able to recognize travel as a necessary condition for literary output and just do far more of it, and produce far more pages. I wonder if the Canada Council would provide me with a grant to travel in order to produce more books?
But on to the update. If my book was a telethon, this would be the point at which we would call for new numbers, the lights would dim and a follow spot would hit the pledge board as new totals are revealed. Lacking direct access to Jerry Lewis I'll have to take on this part myself: drum roll please: I'm about halfway done.
Man, that was anti-climactic.
The other day I was typing up some of the handwritten pages I had most recently produced and, with the dozen or so pages yet to be typed, I'm at about fifty thousand words. The good news is that my publisher told me that Last Dance was a little heavy and the general feeling is that I should be trying to bring it in for a landing around a hundred thousand. I say that's good news not only because it should make for a tighter story (fingers crossed) but also, as when I was writing Last Dance, I'm getting tired of writing this particular book.
I know, I know. Regular readers of this column may recall I've traveled down this road before: getting this far into the incomplete book but really quite ready to move on to the next one that I want to write. I also had the experience in Last Dance of jumping ahead of myself and writing the climax, mostly to keep myself inspired, then struggling to bridge the gaps after the fact.
That said I'm feeling pretty good about where the story is. My missing person has yet to be found but I just recently killed someone and I have plans to take out another character shortly. I've discovered a few new wrinkles that are making my villain(s) more interesting to me, and hopefully to the readers.
I know I've said this before, but if I'm going to get this done I need a hard deadline. And as of now - I'm setting one: come hell or high water, the plan is first complete draft is done by the end of summer.
Next week: bring on the non-fiction.