Friday, August 31, 2007

The Novel

A long time ago, back in 2005, I wrote that there were three books I was working on: a book on Christianity, a novel, and a book about Microsoft Word. And then, later on, I wrote that the book on Christianity is pretty much done. Or… Or maybe I didn’t write that. But it is. I just have to make some final decisions, and then put it online. (I won’t seek to have it published.)

Then, later on, I decided that there were way too many books about Microsoft Word, and that it might be more useful to make that book about Writer, instead. And I did, indeed, start work on that. (I was basically taking the Word book, and rewriting it for Writer, since many of the concepts are the same—just not similar enough to do a copy ’n paste. I’d had 196 pages written on Word, and I got up to 33 for the Writer book. For you math fans out there—and I know there are math fans who read this blog—that’s about 17%. That being said, there were a lot of screenshots in the Word book, that I hadn’t yet done in the Writer book, so that 17% number is kind of meaningless.)

Which brings us to the novel, which I eventually just stopped working on altogether. But for that one, there was a good reason: There is another budding author in the household, and I didn’t want to step on any toes. At the same time, though, I never stopped thinking about my novel, and every once in a while, I had visions of going back to work on it.

Then, when I booked myself a two week vacation, I had all these grandiose plans about how I was going to spend my vacation writing. I would wake up first thing in the morning, brew myself some coffee, and wake up in front of the TV, watching last night’s Daily Show and Colbert Report. (My PVR is set to record them every night, and then I watch them the next day—or whenever I get a chance.) That done I would pour myself a second cup, sit down at the kitchen table with my laptop, and write the morning away.

As it turns out, I didn’t do that. (In fact, I’d be hard-pressed to say what I did do, for much of the time I was off.) But that’s not to say that I neglected the book altogether; I did manage to sit down with it, and do some writing. And I was pleasantly surprised. Looking at it with a fresh eye, the writing is better than I’d been thinking. (With all the time that had past since last I looked at it, I’d been worrying that I’d sit down with it and realize it was awful.)

I think it was Sunday, when I first sat down and looked at it, fearing the worst, and being pleasantly surprised. So I did some work; not so much writing, but reworking. I moved some chapters around, and combined some together, to help the story flow. Then Andrea went back to work, this week, and Monday–Wednesday I was on my own, so I decided to go home and visit my folks for a few days. And I brought my laptop, and had more grand visions of how I was going to do a bunch of writing: I’d take a stroll down to Tim Horton’s in the morning—or whenever I woke up—to grab a coffee, and then walk back home, and write the afternoon away. I even had some romantic notions of sitting in the coffee shop, with my laptop, writing.

This time, it did actually work out something like that. I didn’t do any writing in the coffee shop, but Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon, I did some fairly major writing. And last night, after work, I did a bunch more.

So, all this to say: I may actually finish this novel!