It is funny, sometimes, how writing flows. There are days I get barely a thousand words written, and by 5:30, I had 3500 written for this chapter. That is a lot of words in a single day, and it is a lot of words for a standard chapter, but this is no standard project. I am approaching everything about this project differently. I am setting a different standard for my work.
Previously, because the works followed fairly traditional story structure, beginning, middle, and end, my edits were done mostly in the first edit for typos, punctuation and spelling. On the second edit I would look at plot mistakes and inaccurate references (wrong hometown for a character, etc). Then I would look at copy-editing issues on third and fourth edits. I looked at each chapter as a part of the whole. This time around, as I discussed with a co-worker today, my chapter edits, while including spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc., will be done by essentially treating each chapter as its own story. I want to make each chapter a stand-alone little piece, equivalent to a mini-short story.
one thing I have done different is that this time around, I don't have daily word count goals. I write what comes to mind for a concept in the book. Mondays are difficult to get a lot of writing in on my fiction projects. By the time I get to the gym, then get home and write an article for the sports gig, it is damn near eight o'clock and I am still in need of a shower and sustenance!
So, this began a foray into a deeply satirical chapter which exaggerates for effect the impact of fear and anger on a society:
As would seem the standard, despite both Livvy and myself having lived a non-standard adulthood, our son was born in the thirtieth year after the intervention of the FMG to create the interconnected and wholly separate citypods as a safety measure. We raised him in our Pearl pod as we felt necessary with exposure to the writings of great philosophers both old and new with particular reverence paid to those socio-political philosophers of the time of change and upheaval. We chose to raise him with not just a thoughtful mind, but an inquisitive mind as well. He had read the definitive text on early world civilization as well as the post-modern civilizations prior to the fourteenth year of life. We taught him at an advanced level from an early age along the advice of Plato and much later revolutionaries such as Focault, Sen, Chomsky while relishing the writings of such philosophy giants as Kant, Nietzche, and Kierkegaard all the while teaching him all forms of ethics, philosophy, and history to better acquaint him not with our ideologies, rather the aim was to introduce him to all ideology as a determining force in developing his own mindset as to what he believed. We exposed him to literature from all generations with little concern paid to the words as to the ability to construct words in such a fashion as to educate even while entertaining. Literature that would range from Shakespeare, Voltaire, Dante, and Homer, to Tolstoy, Bowles, Conrad, Foster-Wallace, Rowling, Tolkein and virtually every major author before, in-between and after.Each night we would discuss the current post-modern history and how the United States had come to its most recent configuration. To which our reply was as simple as could be given the precarious nature of not attempting to influence his own developing political philosophy to slant too much towards our own. Nonetheless, when relaying our own vision as to what had happened, it had been an inevitability that our views would seep through the morass of such history skewing our recollection. Despite this potential for inaccuracy, after nothing short of a very brief nod of discussion, Livvy and I agreed to educate the base history of the current socio-political existence in the nation we had always known as home. This was not long before we were forced into retreat to the cave, more on that to follow.
This is a long chapter which goes further into how the dystopian world the primary characters live came to exist. This book is a very large endeavor and though the challenges are sometimes daunting, that makes the reward sweeter (I hope!)
As someone who is a sportswriter as a side job, writing fiction is entirely different. Often I feel it a difficult task to write on this novel on the nights I write sports articles. Brevity is not my friend in this endeavor, whereas writing on a sport story requires the article keep the attention of the reader with shorter forays into words and less thought-provoking concepts. Occasionally, however, there are opportunities to use those nights as a different exercise for this book. I have been navigating much more slowly on this project with hopes that the slow cooking of a stew creates a better end product.