Well, life certainly is getting more interesting. My mom was back in the hospital Thursday, is getting out today and going back to the nursing home for a stretch, more physical therapy. Being dehydrated took out of her what the PT put back in last time.
So for the last two nights, I had the notebooks containing Deadline and skimmed through them to see what I had done. And it wasn’t bad, if I do say so myself. Last night, while mom dozed, I realized what I needed to do to finish out the chapter, so I took out my pen and started to write. I finished chapter 5. Then I looked at my notes and decided that what I had was too roundabout a way to bring in a new character, so I built off of what I had just done with the narrator and brought the new character in for the beginning of chapter 6. When the night was done, eight pages by hand, everything flowing smoothly, like writing a bicycle, you don’t forget.
This success feels really great, but I’m wondering if I can keep even this little progress up. The next few weeks are going to be extremely busy (again). But if I keep the notebooks at hand, maybe I can steal some time here and there to get the rough draft done. Then it can join And/News and I really will be on my way to being an eccentric author with a closet full of unpublished novels (joining, of course, The Mushroom Shift and Trust and the kid novel.
I’ve got to admit that I really am happy with the quality of the prose I’m seeing in Deadline. By all rights, the material I did for the Comic Mystery Novel should be better, because it was written later, and if you keep writing you keep improving. I’m wondering if it’s because I’m writing it by hand. When Stephen King was recovering from that accident that nearly killed him, he supposedly wrote the first draft of Dreamcatcher by hand. He said he loved the experience, that it put him on a real intimate footing with the words, a feeling he hadn’t had in ages. Now I’ve read Dreamcatcher and wasn’t impressed at all, but my own experience here makes me wonder if King wasn’t right about that.
Who knows. I may become a word processing Luddite, (I’m already a cell phone Luddite) and start doing first draft by hand. I’m liking this. I’m liking this a lot.
Deadline – Chapter Five/Chapter Six
182 pages (+ 8)
20,384 Words (+ 896)
NP – iTunes Shuffle Play: Jandek, “Naked in the Afternoon“