Although this novel I’m writing will consist of thirty disparate short stories, spread out over a 30-day timeframe in the Sammohini Arc of “The Story,” I could see it happening. When I’ve done that sort of work, both inside and outside of healthcare, I would have a ticket queue of about ten to thirty tickets, and I’d get all sorts of strange technical work orders. It’s been fun brainstorming ideas and tripping down memory lane.
The ideas I’ve come up with first were based on real events.
Those are the easiest to write but also the most nefarious. I would rather tell Sammohini’s story, than my own through her lens, so kicking around these ideas does mean I might not use all of them. I have five days before I begin formal writing and I have 23 ideas kicking around of my estimated 35 or 40 I’d like to have total. The idea of having more than I need doesn’t work well with life, generally, because when you hoard objects you tend not to appreciate them. In fiction writing, the more ideas you can pick from, however, the better.
I imagine my process will be exactly like what I do for essay writing.
On Halloween, I’ll have my first idea fully-baked and ready to roll. Since I work nights, my schedule will be different than most, however, I’ll start writing just after midnight and work until I’m done. If I hit the 2,000 words for that day early, I’m not sure if I’ll keep at it, or rest early. I will start my workweek on the 1st, so I can’t burn myself out too much. The weekends are usually pretty slow at work, although I’m not really exactly going to write extensively on the clock or anything.
Instead, I think I’ll adopt this approach:
- Midnight to end of the shift: Brainstorm ideas for the day’s short story. If I can borrow the time during breaks and lunch, I’ll write for a bit to start things off.
- Write at home: The major con about this is that traffic will sometimes take over one exhausting hour and leave me feeling drained. Conversely, I’ll have the space to write comfortably.
- Write abroad: The major con is finding the place. There are some coffee shops I could go to, so it probably won’t be too bad. I think I’ll do this during the weekday parts of my shift.
- Sleep: 10am to 6pm. No exceptions. I’ll allow 10:15am, but nothing later.
- Wake and write: Lately, it’s been taking me a while to get out of bed, make breakfast, and settle into writing. I’ve been practicing over the past few days to get myself back into this rhythm and I haven’t been diligent in doing this well. I can blame the physicality of having felt sick with headaches lately, but I can’t excuse the laziness. I think once I get that eye on the prize of either publishing what I wrote in the morning or finishing it up to edit it, then I’ll be good to go.
- Head to work: After my cut-off point, I won’t be able to publish anything or do any last-minute revisions, so after I leave for work, that chapter is done. No excuses.
The more provocative the short story, the easier it will be to write.
I can write essays with about 50 WPM, even if they have some filler words and could use some editing. I don’t know my fiction writing pace, however, if I can visualize the scene and know how Sammohini and most of the characters will act or react, then I can probably get myself squared away relatively quickly. On my days off, I don’t know if I’ll want to do more prep work. I thought of having a writing goal of 2,000-words per day, whereas my average lately has been 1,000. I just don’t want to be in a situation where I have a day off and I wrote my 2,000-word short story, published it, and it’s at 3am. I could spend the rest of the day writing, editing, or, I dunno, resting.
These next few days are trying to get as ahead of the curve as possible.
Realizing that I’d been writing too much for my brain to handle, causing headaches, possibly, was a good lesson to learn before reaching the starting line. I’m adopting more of a marathon-style writing pace, rather than the sprinting pace I started at earlier in these preparation essays. I still have some chores to do yet, some bills to pay, and I still want to prepare my spare laptop just in case anything should go wrong – and to use in coffee shops during those weekday mornings waiting for traffic to thin out. However, I’m feeling good about where I’m at now. I’ve had my writing shocks the past few days with those headaches, which are still here but thinning out as well.
I might actually be able to accomplish this goal of mine.
Even if I don’t, it will be a nice experiment with a good result. I’m not aiming for perfection in any regard. I am just going to write as much as I can until I’m interrupted by external forces like time or life or internal forces like health. If I don’t succeed, I can still wrap up the goal after I return to better spirits. If I do succeed, then I will have enabled more opportunities for myself. I’ve prepared for many of the worst-case scenarios in this. Now it’s just a matter of clearing out all the remaining obstacles. The self-doubt will always be there, but I’ve already let that doubt free into previous essays, allowing my doubts to address my hopes honestly, and with good results.
These essays will be the preamble for the 2019 novel.
I’ve imagined these essays to be “how-to” guides on how to prepare yourself, then the novel itself is just the result of these weeks of preparations.
And if I fail, it’s just more writing practice.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Just jamming on what I’d need to do to prepare as much as I can and thinking of the worst-case scenarios as my headaches kinda stay at around a manageable level.|
|Related: Other 2019 Novel writings.|
|Picture: I’d rather write than do even the slightest bit of picture editing.|
|Written On: October 27th [27 minutes, from 12:08am to 12:35am, Wordcounter]|
|Last Edited: October 27th [Second draft; final draft for the Internet]|