I’ve brought the manuscript, heels dragging, up to over 28k words. Finally! Still a long way to go, of course, but I’m feeling like I’m gathering some momentum to get over that hump I’ve been stuck on for so long. The two chapters that I was so unhappy with aren’t done yet, but I’ve redrafted both multiple times, approaching them from a number of directions until they started making some sense to me. A fair bit of work was spent on subtle worldbuilding – scaffolding that’ll be taken down and packed away later, invisible to the eventual reader – to make these scenes work (Why is that character there? What would he see if he looked up, down, across the street?… that sort of thing).
To paraphrase a conversation with my beautiful wife earlier today, I feel like I’ve got A-E of the alphabet down pat, know the shapes of F and G pretty well, have mastered Q, R and S and know the twists and turns of Y and Z. I’ve got to spend more time on the intervening letters though, making sure I don’t miss any important bits along the way by going too fast or too slow. Those middle sections scare me a little, to be honest; I think there may be some more cul-de-sacs there like I recently faced, sections where I’m just going to stare at the screen and say ‘and then what?’ to myself not knowing the answer. Onwards and upwards though, onwards and upwards. What’s the point in half-climbing a mountain, after all?