22 Mar 2010

Update - March 2010: Chase hard and fill the gap

I'll keep this update brief:

Still alive. Busy.

Alright, not that brief…

I haven't written a word of flash fiction or short story all year. I haven't made one submission; haven't even thought about it. And I've been keeping away from writing workshops. The reason? To avoid any and all temptation to write anything but the novel I started three years ago. It's just something I felt I needed to do: take a giant step back. Focus. Write. No distractions.

Has it worked?

An unequivocal yes.

Excluding notes, I began the year with 45000 words of first draft material, which took me two-and-a-half years to produce amongst the short stories and other side projects. In two-and-a-half months I've been able to produce a little under half that again, taking my novel's word count total past the 65,000 mark. 20k isn't much when compared to the output of some, but for me and for this project it's exceptional. The tale is currently in the third and final act and, as of Friday afternoon, I have the closing line. All that's left for me to do is keep chasing hard and fill the gap.


Sophie Playle said...


Can you write my novel, too? I have 0 words so far, excluding notes :D

Danielle Ferries said...

Well done. It's a good feeling when you can focus on something and begin to see it coming together.

Cate Gardner said...

I wish I had your resolve. Novel on the back burner - again - me working on short stories. :(

Aaron Polson said...

Fantastic, Steven. I wish you all the closing speed you need.

Steven J. Dines said...

Thanks for the words of support, people. I'm hoping to finish the first draft in 3-5 months. After that, rewriting, LOTS of rewriting. I'm actually looking forward to that part; usually, I don't. It's when the flab will (hopefully) vanish and the true shape come through. Then I'll be looking for volunteer readers. Anyone? Anyone? Hey, come back!

Rich said...

Sign me up.

This is great news. I think you've done the right thing, limiting yourself from distractions. It's a lot harder than you think.

PS: have you eve read any Joel Lane? I think you'd like it.


Steven J. Dines said...

Hey Rich,

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the second draft when it's done. Thanks for the offer.

Joel Lane? Yeah, I read one of his short stories in an anthology some years back. Always meant to look for more of his work...any recommendations?

Rich said...

The Lost District and Other Stories.

Blew. Me. Away


Steven J. Dines said...

Thanks, I'll add it to my growing list of books to check out... In fact, another recent purchase of mine may be credited to you (or bss, I can't remember) based on the reading thread on Critters. The Best of Joe R Lansdale. Someone I've heard much about but never read. Seen Bubba Ho-Tep, but that's about it, lol.