I noticed that the main post for A Round of Words in 80 Days mentions figuring out how the goal set has been working and whether or not there needs to be any tweaking. I can say right now, considering I’m supposed to be several chapters ahead and yet I’m still only on the first chapter, that, yeah, my goal was set a little high. The challenge I face now is trying to figure out how that goal can be reassessed. It was pretty simple when I started out: finish the book. A pretty weighty goal, obviously, but a very clear, concise, easy to measure one.
I may simply use the marker I use on my monthly novel project: at least a page a day. At the end of the round, I should be at 80 pages, nothing to shake a stick at. And who knows, maybe things will pick back up and I can inspire myself to finish it completely by the end of the Round. I think we’ll go with that. I’m fairly certain I’m right on track with at least a page a day. I’m almost certain I’ll be able to at least get that first chapter finished today; I was struggling a little with the way the conversation was going, but I reached that “break point” where a character just says one thing, and everything falls into place. I love that feeling.
One thing I was thinking about as I was writing along with Chapter One is details. I got stuck in a conversation that reveals a certain detail about the main character, a detail I rather like, a detail I believe tells the reader quite a bit about him, but it’s also a detail that does not have any specific relation to the plot as a whole. I wish it did. Maybe I’ll discover a way to work it in eventually, but it has me wondering. I would love the crisp sort of writer that does not present anything more than what is ultimately necessary, that every detail has some important meaning later, but, at the same time, some things, like descriptions of the setting or appearances, are just nice things for a reader to have. And if it tells you something about the character, isn’t it still useful?
Just something that’s been in the back of my mind. I think I might just have to conceive of a way for it to become useful later, just because I don’t want to get rid of it, but, again, it might be one of those things where you have to kill you darlings. We shall see.
Good luck to my fellow RoW-ers! Almost August!