I started this week by looking at what I had:
The first eleven chapters are done, and have been done. They need only to be made consistent with what happens later.
Of the remaining 16-17 chapters:
- Five are more or less done
- Five more are done-ish
- The remaining six or seven have big chunks missing, or they take place in the wrong location or something like that. Even so, every chapter has the critical incredients, and I can actually see the whole story in place, and the pacing and all that. (It's ALIVE! ... er, sorry. Saw Bride of Frankenstein this weekend.)
Technically, each of those remaining problem chapters should take a day's work each, and this should be done in a week, with another week for consistency checks, and smoothing and filling. I'm thinking that I'll be tearing my hair out and whining a lot next weekend. But the next Wednesday Update will see me dancing in the streets.
Sunday Day 21 - 28 minutes. Should have got more done, but I had some creative other stuff to do. Also, had to get up way too early to go see the 1935 Bride of Frankenstein, which was playing at the local theater. Then I was off my stride for the entire day. Sat down and looked at the "big jobs" remaining for the rest of the book, and found what you see above: the the story is really shaping up. I am just into the fiddly stuff. But there's lots of fiddly stuff. Not major decision making, just sitting down and doing it one layer at a time.
Monday Day 22 - 167 minutes. I would like to fix an ailing chapter per day, and I did not quite make it on this one, but I made very good progress. I am very close on this one, except... I realize I miscounted. This chapter is really two chapters, and I only fixed one of them. (Mostly.)
Tuesday Day 23 - 104 minutes. I was looking forward to continuing the momentum from Monday, but I was so sore and wretched when I got home from work. I eventually took some aspirin, though, and I recovered enough to get a little work done, and then a little more, and then I caught fire again.
The Homestretch can be Energizing
The middle of a writing dare is often the doldrums. By this time, the excitement of the start is dying down. Keeping up with your goals is beginning to be a slog. Lose enough momentum and you might even quit.
On the other hand, getting to the end of a project can be extremely energizing. You see it whole. The pieces pull together and you can actually your dream of it coming to fruition. As you get closer, even if you're tired, you may find yourself accelerating.
Now, sometimes that finish line is much further away than you thought it was, and you run out of steam before you get there. But sometimes it's close enough to taste and the steam only builds.
One of the advantages of a long flexible challenge like ROW80, is that you might hit the home stretch on a project right when you most need it: in the middle of the dare. That can kick the snot out of the doldrums. (It also can lead to serious sleep deprivation, but that's another story.)
I'm not going to get this done before the next update on Sunday, but I sure would like to get it done by the end of the month. So we're pushing for Halloween night.
See you in the funny papers.