1st March, 2011: That new start thing

Weeeell… I’m not doing that badly. The first chapter of The Suicide Tree is done and dusted (pending redraft, of course). It comes in at 2,951 words, which is probably a bit long for a first chapter. But it’s the clay on the wheel, as I am fond of saying.

Project: The Suicide Tree (post-apocalyptic horror in storm-battered Louisiana)
Words today: 1,732
Words total: 2,951 (sample chapters only, no specific word limit)
Total words for 2011: 68,927

Ooh, just short of the requisite 2k today. Dang. Must try harder. Although I did say it would take a couple of days to get back up to speed. So, all eyes on day three!

Also today I had a Skype conference with Kate about Godless, which was a pleasure as always as we try and figure out what happens in the next chapter. We do have an outline, but one of the problems of sharing the writing chores on a novel is that rather than just sitting down and getting your words out for the day, and then repeating that the next day, and the next, instead you have to process the proceeding chapter, work out where it digressed from the outline, have a Skype call to make sure you’re on the right track for the next bit, and THEN write your chapter.

As a solo writer, everything happens inside your own head and even if you head off on a tangent, you kinda know where you are going. When somebody else has written the chapter before, you have to analyse it and try and guess where the other person was heading. It’s an immensely fun process, and seeing a new chapter from your co-writer is always a surprise, but it is also time consuming. It’s Kate’s turn to write, and I gummed up the works a little by writing a gigantic chapter (at least twice as long as it should be) which is mainly a conversation between our hero and a local sheriff who is having a bad day. Fun to read (and write), but it took some unravelling to work out what needs to come next.

I’m not complaining. Far from it. But that’s what else I did today. Ain’t the internet a wonderful thing?