Okay, I know that it hasn’t begun yet, but still–I’m excited! My Clarion West Write-a-Thon page is live now (yay!) and I’ve gotten a couple of sponsors (double yay!). The novella I’m starting with as my first W-a-T goal is well-underway, with close to 8,000 words written. But…I know that at least 2,000 of them will be cut in the end. Or sooner, more like the next draft. Editing needs to wait, though, until the darn first draft is done. Which it’s not.
I haven’t had this much trouble sticking with writing, and not editing too early, for a long time. I’m sure this has to do with the length. A novella is 15,000-40,000 words, whereas short stories are usually 2,000-7,500 words long. Most of mine slip in between 3,000-5,000, with an occasional piece going to 6,000 words. I understand the structure at this length, more or less. I know when to begin finishing up, when to write “The End.”
But this novella length is blindsiding me. I don’t have a good feel for where I am, even though the story is more plotted than is normal for me. I figured the extra plotting would keep me on track, and it has helped. Who knows where I’d be without the bare-bones “outline” to guide me? Lost at sea, most likely, instead of spinning downstream at the mouth of the river. Sigh.
Well, I’ve got ten days yet until the Write-a-Thon begins. With any luck, by then I’ll have found my oars and be paddling upstream once more.
Today we saw another garter snake slithering across the path right before us. It’s amazing how smoothly snakes move when going so fast! And earlier, a tiny motion just off the trail caught my eye (but not, thankfully, the dog’s!). I turned to see a doe twitch her ears, then her tail. She saw me seeing her and made a silent leap over a downed tree. Behind her moved a tiny form–a very small fawn, still spotted, which was unable to leap the tree. It stood there, perplexed. I ghosted away so we wouldn’t disturb them further.