My last workshop of the semester is in two weeks. I submit my next piece, the third chapter in my “Birdland” story, next week. Yesterday I finished the first draft of that chapter. In my last workshop, one of my classmates made a comment about how I started the second chapter: “Sounds nice, but dead pigeons don’t pray.” This was revelatory for me, and I’ve debated hard whether I should change the name of the story to “Dead Pigeons Don’t Pray.” My thinking was that this would be the perfect title for a novel that has this sentence in it:
Behind them a cop dodged a pedestrian crossing the street with the walk sign, crashed into a street pole, and exploded as though the only race the car’s fiery soul wanted to be in was the one to heaven.
The continued existence of this line, however, is up for debate though as I ship this draft off to Amanda and Canelli for review. If this line doesn’t make it past this preliminary editing phase, then there’s no hope for “Dead Pigeons Don’t Pray.”
Overall I’m pleased with the direction of the story so far, and I’m already working out how the next chapter, which I plan to write next month, will play out. My total output so far, across three chapters, is just over 21,000 words. I’m getting a better idea of how much longer the rest of the piece is going to be (looks like 8 more chapters), and by this summer I could have roughly 77,000 words. This puts the book at about 280 published pages. Not too shabby, right?