Halfway through the year and I have still written on every day of it. Is it an easy habit yet? No, I still have to force myself to the keyboard on most days. But on some of those days the words flow. In the second half of this year I am going to make a concerted effort to increase my word count to somewhere around a 1000 words a day.
I think I am now more than halfway through the first draft of the novel I am writing. I have just started chapter ten and the narration has made its first jump in time. Chapters 1-9 covered the first six days of my protagonist's adventure, but chapter ten jumps to two weeks later. I hope that a reader will have perceived certain patterns of behaviour from the two main characters and expect them to be behaving in a certain way and if they aren't, start to wonder what happened in the preceding two weeks to change things.
After chapter ten the narration will again take a jump in time to cover a few momentous days. I still have a pile of ideas to fit into the novel, but I am now asking myself if they are necessary to propel the story forward. The end is in sight.
I don't think I am a very good dedicated reader as I have only read one more chapter of the novel I am critiquing. I have had it for at least four weeks now and if I was the anxious author I know I would be hoping that the critiquer would be nearly finished by now. I am normally a pretty slow reader and early starts have had me falling asleep while reading at night. A chapter a day, I keep telling myself, but something always seems to come up – like sleep.
I was delighted to read that 278,649 books were published in the US last year. 50,071 were novels, an increase of 17% from 2006 and double the number of six years ago. I doubt if Australian publishing has had similar increases.