Today’s word count: 1,971 words
NANTUCKET total word count: 48,961
HARPER total word count: 5,435 words
I didn’t think I would write as much as I did today. I know it’s not quite my daily goal, but it’s pretty close. But when I sat down at the computer, I definitely didn’t feel like I had much to write. The words weren’t there. The movement in the next scene, which I normally do have in mind before I sit down, wasn’t there. Nothing much was there, really.
But sitting down to write everyday definitely grows on a person. It took me longer than normal to get the words down, but still, the words did come, eventually. I wonder, when I do the first re-read once it’s all completed, whether I’ll be able to pinpoint these words again, point to them and say, “ah, I wrote this that night I was feeling a little off”?
After my experience re-reading what I had written in November months later, I suspect I won’t be able to tell.
I’m feeling a little disjointed when it comes to NANTUCKET. I’m not even sure if “disjointed” is the word I’m looking for.
I’m writing NANTUCKET using a program called Liquid Story Binder. One of the great things about it is that it has a planner mode that lets you throw in the names of scenes. You then write each scene by attaching a chapter to it. Doing it this way, it’s easy to move scenes around, and the beauty of it is that the chapter attached to the scene moves with it. While I’m not working with an outline, I tend to think of a few scenes that are coming up at the beginning of each session, and add them to the planner as I go, so I always have a couple of scenes waiting for me to write.
NANTUCKET has a lot of characters, and the point of view shifts from scene to scene. With the lapse between last November and last month when I picked up the writing again, things have gotten quite confusing. I have characters lurking around that require development in their own scenes during the earlier part of the book, but I haven’t gotten around to even setting those scenes down yet, much less writing them. At times I find myself concentrating too much on the story that my two main characters are telling, but my story relies on more than just their points of view.
When I started writing NANTUCKET again last month, I did go back and delete whole scenes and rewrite new ones. But I started at the earliest part, and always moved forward chronologically. Now it feels to me like I will have to take another good look at all the scenes I have, and insert scenes into various places as needed.
If I do this, though, I won’t be writing chronologically anymore. I’ve never written a story in any way but chronologically. Just thinking about it, I feel disjointed. A little uncomfortable.
Do you always write a story chronologically? Or do you find it easy to tackle whatever scene happens to come to you, regardless of when it takes place in the timeline of your novel? I guess my main worry is that I’ll lose that sense of flow and coherence that I associate with writing chronologically.