If you haven’t been following my Trollbooth blog, you can catch up here.
As you may have seen on social media, the second draft of Trollbooth is finished. A marathon session of work over the long weekend got me to the final sentence; there were times I felt the way I did writing my second novel back when I was 19 – like I was in an ever-expanding zone where my fingers flew over the keys. It was good to find that place, even if real life requires me to have a baby monitor on the desk, too.
The novel checks in at 175 typed, double-spaced pages, which translates to a respectable 43,750 words (approximately). That was about what I estimated looking over the handwritten first draft a couple months ago. However, I think this one’s going to get bigger. This isn’t the usual way I work, but I’m not exactly big on “following the rules” when it comes to art. This time, rather than make a sculpture out of a big chunky block, it appears I’m going to have to add some more material here and there, then chip away as I go.
The reason for this is inconsistency in my writing routine. Factors good and bad contributed to me getting up late (which, as a morning writer, cuts into my creative time) or not writing for stretches of days during the Trollbooth first draft process. Whenever that happens, I fight with myself. I feel like I should be further along in the writing, or that I have to get to a certain scene/event/whatever as soon as possible because it’s been rattling around in my head for days. It makes me rush through the creation process, and it’s noticeable when I’m working on the second draft. It sticks out like hot pink spray paint against a black background filled with nice, neat, white printed sentences.
In my third draft, I’m going to have to scrap away that graffiti without destroying the words underneath. I’ll need to add detail and some exposition as I round out a narrative that’s already big on action…but perhaps isn’t as alive as it should be. There aren’t enough lights on to chase back the shadows, and in this case, the shadows hide the creeping death called shoddy work. I’ve got to banish that demon. This book means too much to me to let it stand.
Before that happens, I’ll need to step away from the Enchanted Forest State Forest for a couple weeks. Another project for my writers’ group anthology requires my attention. I plan on keeping record of my process throughout that project, the way I have with Trollbooth. Doing so has helped me understand my work, my process, and hopefully how to eliminate some of my weaknesses, and that’s never bad.
It’s also been nice to have a greater connection with you, dear reader. Because of comments, and also because as an artist, I believe engagement with audience is a part of the overall creative process, I’m much more aware of those whom I can, should, and will entertain. I have fun writing these stories, and so it stands to reason that what I write should be fun for you, too. Thanks for taking some time here on the Imaginary Playground. As Halestorm says, “Here’s to us.”