Writing day

Every so often, I invite local writer friends over for a writing day.

I tend not to write fiction unless I specifically set aside time for it. And I'm more likely to actually write (instead of getting sidetracked by the Internet and the monster to-do list and such) if I'm sitting with one or more other writers who are also writing. Cafes often work well for this kind of thing, but the space and noise and power constraints can also get in the way.

The writing days at my place are set up to have some social time at the start and end, and a social break in the middle, sandwiching two two-hour blocks of quiet writing time, during which there's no talking allowed. (Except for brief quiet essential stuff.) It works pretty well, but somehow I never get into the habit of having them regularly. I'd like to do it once a month, but I think it may've been a year since last time.

My house is not ergonomically ideal for such events, but I hope eventually to have better furniture for it, and in the mean time, it seemed to work okay today. Three other people showed up; turned out they didn't know each other, but had various things in common, so that was nice too. (Thanks for coming, y'all!)

And I got a lot of writing done by my paltry standards. About 2900 words of fiction, about 700 words of notes, made various plot decisions, worked out some outline details, etc.

Unfortunately, it's just a drop in the bucket. What started out as a longish short story is now looking like it'll be either a very long novella or a very short novel, neither of which is particularly sellable. Which is especially unfortunate given that part of the point of writing this piece is that I think it's one of more commercial ideas I've had for fiction.

And it's going very slowly. I worked out the general plot in late 2007; started writing the story per se sometime in 2008; but I tend to write about a thousand words on it each session, and I tend to work on it only every few months.

It's now at about 15,000 words (which makes it already the longest thing I've written, I think); I suspect it'll end up around 50,000; the first couple thousand words (before I figured out how to handle the POV issues) are terrible and need a total rewrite; at the current rate, I'll have a fairly solid draft sometime around 2020. Which I then won't be able to sell even if anyone likes it, 'cause it's a bad length.

All of which is obviously silly. I need to either start making a lot more progress on it, or give up and devote my limited fiction-writing time to shorter pieces that I can actually finish. And if I do try to make progress on it, I need to either cut the plot down to novella length, or figure out how to turn it into a full-length novel.

But maybe the first step is to have writing days more often. If I could write 3000 words on this each month—well, it would still be slow going, but I'd probably have a full draft in a year instead of ten years. And maybe if I were making more progress on it, I would make it a higher priority even on days that I haven't set aside to work on it.

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