Yesterday I reached a goal I set June first - well actually, as it happens, I started with one goal and kept revising it. My first goal was to write thirty thousand words for the Burrowers Novel Writing Month - BUNOWRIMO. The most common goal for that is to write 50 thousand words on a new novel. I thought, after about a year and a half of revising True I'd try a new piece while beginning the final revision of my mystery The Rock Walker. Once I started my muse screamed in and insisted that I do nothing but work on Bright Angel - the new book. I did fifty thousand words in June and as I was still having fun, I decided (with a large number of others at BUNO) to keep on keeping on. To me 80 thousand is a reasonable length novel and one that I've done before and so for July my goal was thirty more. I reached that yesterday.
The thing is (and there's always a thing) the novel isn't finished. I'm fairly sure that it will revise down to 80 thousand but I have quite a bit more to discover. I've been sneaking up on the climax and haven't quite got there. Depending on what happens with it - I'll be heavily changing my prologue and the bit of an ending that I've got.
It's been a real ride. The book has four voices - two teen girls, one woman (their mother) in her late forties and a woman approaching eighty. I'm pretty sure I know what the novel is about - I don't like to know too much before writing my first draft - just the barest idea - but it is good to know by now! The climax is tricky because I've fallen in love with a few scenes that might not make the cut. I'm a firm believer in 'kill your darlings' that old writers' adage that Oscar Wilde first penned. Believer or not it is hard.
Because I live with a house builder I often think in those terms. Once you've decided where something is going to go - like the stairs coming from the front hall as opposed to the kitchen - it is deuced hard to see it any other way. Same as writing. Once having seen something in my mind's eye, to see it differently takes some time. The trick that I'm learning is to really listen to my characters. When four of them are yammering in your ear it can get a little loud but it is always interesting.
So today, I am going back in. I've reached my numbers goal so I won't be fretting about moving quickly right now but more about deep listening. What do they need? What can't they have? What will they do that will move them through?
More later. I really really want to be a pirate.