I have long been absent from public life and social media. In July I had severe medical problems – short-lived, thankfully, but requiring rest.
In some way, the medical problems deflated me. My mood, always a little low to begin with, got lower still. I could manage family obligations, and family joys, but I was discouraged, and lost my way in my booklife.
I am still finishing the serial. But, in my lows, I saw that both my novel and the serial are very rigid stories, requiring a lot of facts or details from the real world. I wanted to give my imagination a free rein.
Thus I am doubling down on my existing commitments to the serial by doing NaNoWriMo, an attempt to put down fifty thousand original words of a new novel (as much as The Great Gatsby plus a long Sunday magazine article) between November 1 and 30.
The story I have in mind is unusually suited for a big push like this. It began as a short story, but I wound up building a great amount of world for it. It already has several characters, a series of events and a big conclusion. Most of my effort to expand it will be to slow down the march of the story, hoping to make the people and world real enough so that by the climax, you care about what might happen to it.
Over the last week I put together rough outlines that should carry me well in; I suspect the writing will answer questions (or decide which questions even get answered) that will define the second half.
I have limited time on weekends and of course the holidays approach. I used Susanna’s Pacemaker to make a heavily front-loaded schedule, with the first two weeks covering three quarters of my word count. Two weeks of pure Dickian speediness. Of course, no one will be reading any of this but my inner editor and perhaps, in parts, some colleagues.
It will be like nothing I have ever done. I hope it will be good for me.