Thursday, May 23, 2013

9000 Words

Now that school is done and my evenings are free (at least until the girls) I've challenged myself to write at least 500 words every day until I reach 9000 words.  9000 seems a random digit, but there is a method to the madness.  For my long story (which still needs a better title) there are three "books" with ten chapters each, so a total of thirty chapters.  Each chapter somewhat unintentionally averages around 1500 words; some are longer and one or two are shorter but not by much.  9000 words then should finish out the seven remaining chapters of Book 3 and finish Volume One.  As of today I am sitting at 7103 words remaining.  Here's a sample of what I wrote today:

“Major Dair has your assignments.  We attack at first light and the night’s almost gone, so get some rest.”  Dair and the others wandered off to discuss the battle plan, Line waited for them go out of sight before slumping to the ground.  “Mined Veir and his mined Junger,” he muttered to himself, the pain obvious on his face.
“Liam, would you and Jove make sure the men are settled?”  Both men nodded and went away.  “Colonel…”
“My mind is made up Captain, I shouldn’t have to defend that decision to you or Major Dair.  The command is mine and I will lead it as I’ve always led it… from the front.”
“Do you need to be quite so forward?”
Line laughed a little at that.  “Can’t lead from behind and besides, how can I expect them to do it.  I have two hundred exhausted, hungry, and broken men to do the impossible Mr. Ores.  If their exhausted, hungry, and broken old commander won’t fright, why should they?  I don’t have a death wish if that’s what you and Truvant are worried about.
“I just don’t see any other way.  They told me it was much the same for my daddy.  He was a miner and there was a cave in.  My uncle said he could have gotten out, but he went back to save some others.”  Line stopped to take a deep breath before he added, “Stupid must run in my blood.”
Avin laughed at this.  “What do you want me and my men to do sir?”
“Captain Ores, this is going to sound duplicitous after what I just shared, but you and your men will remain here and guard the wounded.”
Avin took a moment for the news to sink in.  “What?!”
“When’s the last time you slept Ores?  You’ve been on your feet for days, fighting and marching your way from Lyden, and then dragging your sorry butt back here.  You may not feel it, but I can see it, you’ve got nothing left.  You boys will be useless to me in a fight, even more so than I.  If something, Mother and Daughter forbid, happens to us I want you to get the wounded to safety.  Can I count on you Mr. Ores?”
“Yes, sir.”
“Good, now leave me alone so I can get some rest.”

Its been helpful to just write to get through a few writing blocks by focusing on the word count and to be more lenient on my self-correction.  I've always self-corrected as I write and I've had pretty good results, so multiple drafts is a pretty foreign concept to me.  What I've read and noticed in my own writing though is that I write in fits and starts instead of the words and thoughts just flowing.  As I said to my wife once when she was especially hard on herself, "Have some fricken grace."  (This comment received the death glare of course.)  My intention is to finish the first draft very soon and hopefully have it proofread and work started on it before the fall.  Then I'll take a cue from my good friend Ryan Partlow and submit it to a publisher - just to receive a rejection letter, cry a little bit, and then sell it as an eBook.  Who knows, maybe it'll pay for college?