I have been writing a novel, a new novel, (a deer, a female deer), and yesterday, working since September 26th, I reached 16000 words. To date, I have created one large character sketch, one large general plot outline, several pages of notes on the specifics of the plot and secondary characters, small piles of notecards containing new, segmental ideas, a complete computerized and partially edited version of the thus-far manuscript (never been done before; I type on a typewriter, and usually i don’t computerize until the whole book is written. It’s a real beeyotch. This is also my first instance of writing new scenes out of continuity), three well-dog-eared writing instruction books, never mind which ones, and a blue pencil. I think it’s going very well, though in this first piece of “middle”, the inspiration is starting to wane, I suppose. At this point, it’s always a job to keep going. As things get more complicated, and more details arise that must be included in the final piece, the overall task grows bigger and bigger each day. There are certain scenes of great importance to the plot and I know I must get them right, but I fear I will fail to convey their importance, or a character will seem flat, or I will do much telling and not enough showing, and it will ruin what would have been a great scene. I don’t have a writing workshop to look at it, and in fact I have never workshopped anything (not even my short story, “The Human Gift,” which was accepted for publication; see earlier post). It is tough, the job I have chosen, and I know the rewards will be great, for I have written novels before. I know the reward will be even greater in this case because I am using newly learned skills, and I have a brand new story, still fresh in my mind. But it is tough, for no one else can fail but me.

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