And I have some good news! I did read all your comments on my IWSG post, and firstly, I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone who stopped by and commented. You all inspired me to stop moaning/procrastinating and actually get on with what I'm here to do - write. So on Thursday night I finally started working on the sequel to Synthetica - I'd made a detailed synopsis some time ago, but I hadn't actually got around to writing a word of the actual manuscript.
And oh my, was I in for a shock.
I think I've actually completely blanked out how difficult it is to write those first few pages of a manuscript. Seriously, it felt like I was pulling teeth. I just wanted to cry and scream and break something. You want to know how many words I managed to write? 281. I'm truly not exaggerating when I say how awful those 281 words were. They were appalling. If you read it, you wouldn't think I was capable of even speaking English, let alone writing it.
But you know what? It didn't stop me. On Saturday, I got up, had breakfast, wandered around for a bit and then sat and wrote most of the day. On Sunday, I repeated Saturday's routine (with an impromptu trip food shop thrown in).
This weekend I managed to clock up a total of 5127 words. When I look back over what I've written I think I can pretty much break it down into chunks like this: around 3000 of those words will ultimately be cut because they make zero sense, 1000 words will be chopped and changed into some kind of coherent order, 800 words can be kept outright (because they're basically essential words such as 'said', 'he', 'Anais' and 'and') and hiding amongst all the crap, there might be 200 words/phrases if I'm lucky that I'll keep because they're actually telling the story I want to be told.
Does it make me feel disheartened when I realise that most of my weekend's effort won't survive the final cut (however far away that may be)? Not at all. If anything, I'm happy that I actually have something to work with now - instead of staring at a blank page, I can remodel, cut and paste or rewrite my novel altogether, until what's on the page finally reflects the book that's in my head. After all, it's only through trial and error that we can really see what it is we truly want out of our writing.
So that's my news. Book 2 is coming on slowly but surely and right now, I'm super happy about that. Also, I've discovered that I've now lost a stone since the summer, so I went on a small shopping trip after work tonight and I was delighted to find that I can now just about shoehorn myself into a size smaller than I was :). A small thing, but nonetheless an achievement for me :).
Happy Monday, folks!
How's your writing going? Do you find first drafts strangely torturous to write too?