Last night I turned in chapter three of my novel. I rushed to get it finished before Thanksgiving week started, but I’m wholly satisfied with what I wrote. It came out to be just over 8300 words. It’s my longest chapter so far before revisions, and it’s my most action packed. But it’s probably also my clearest, most unified piece so far. The beginning and end feature treks out of and into consciousness, there’s a stork on a bicycle that knocks around and gets knocked around, and there are pigeons kicking ass and getting their asses kicked.
Within the next couple of days I’m going to start on chapter four. Based on how quickly I’m writing now, I think I can have it down in about two weeks. It’s going to be a slower chapter, more exposition than action, and last night I think I finally worked through some of the bigger questions I had for this part. That’s really what this process has become for me: problem solving. How do I get this one particular character, with all of these traits and specific circumstances, to care about this other seemingly unrelated issue? How do I get characters who live within a relatively small world to step up and accept their place in this larger conflict? These are the problems I face, and then I set about trying to solve those problems in the most concise yet entertaining way possible. And once I have it figured out, then I sit down and write.
And that’s my writing process. One week spent daydreaming about pigeons in fatigues wielding butcher knives against crime-hardened blue jays, two weeks writing, and one week begging people to read it and give me feedback. Then repeat. It seems to be working so far.