In May I started behaving more like a writer, even though I am still very tired. I wrote a lot more and I started critiquing again. I put this down to quitting Facebook six weeks ago. I really missed Facebook to begin with, but not so much anymore. I gave myself permission a few days ago to go back on Facebook, but I still haven’t ventured onto it, though I might to plug this blog post. I decided that I will only go on Facebook after I have written at least 500 words of fiction – or edited for 2-3 hours -- and done whatever critiquing activities I had scheduled for that day.
In May, I wrote 13,525 words of my novel Branded, more than doubling my monthly totals for this year. I reached my daily quota of 500 words on 18 days with 1020 words as my best daily total. So I averaged 436 words a day.
I have written approximately 87,000 words of the novel. I had hoped that the first draft would be around 90,000 words, but my characters decided not to cooperate with each other at the end of part four. Consequently, I have just started the fifth and final part of the novel. It should go for around another 10,000 words. So I should finish the first draft in June.
I am writing it as a stand-alone novel with some hanging threads left for the reader to imagine what might happens next. But those threads are starting to wrap my imagination in sequel ideas.
I mentioned in my last post that I had joined critters.org and the Australian Writers Forum. In May I did a critique a week for critters, three short stories and the first chapter of a novel. One short story impressed with a non-traditional narrative style. But the novel appeared to have a very overused plot driver.
So far nothing has appeared on the Australian Writers Forum for me to critique, so I will start searching for active Australian science fiction critiquing groups again.
I finished reading the disappointing What the Family Needed, by Steven Amsterdam. It had none of the urgency or call to action of his excellent Things We Didn’t See Coming. I will review What the Family Needed in my next blog post. I am just about to start reading Amnesia, by Peter Carey. He’s one of my favourite authors, loved True History of the Kelly Gang, and Illywhacker was great fun too.