Wordy on the Sly

My first wife–whom I affectionately refer to as “Audrey III”, which those of you with any sort of movie/geek background will get right away–had a love/hate relationship with reading.  She claimed, at least at first, that she liked reading, but there were certain authors she hated to read, because . . . let me give you an example.

I read a lot of early Stephen King.  Like, every time something new came out, I bought it and read it.  I have one of the original hardback printings of the first Dark Tower novels; there were like ten thousand printed, and they were, I think, $40 when they were first sold.  As you can see in this link, an unsigned copy is worth about $1200 today–and mine is in as good of shape as this book.  I have all of the Green Mile when it was first released as a serialized books, because that was the way King wanted you to read it–at least at first.

My then-wife hated King.  Not because of the stories, oh, no.  She thought those were fine.  She hated King because he was too “wordy”.  “He uses too many words!” she say all the time.  I always took this to mean, “I’m too damn lazy to read”–which, it turns out, was really the case, since after a while she stopped reading altogether.  Maybe every writer got too wordy for her, I don’t know.

Now, it’s no secret I write every day, or at least try.  There have been a few times I’ve let that slip, but if nothing else, I try to get in a daily post, and then I work on my stories.  Usually blog in the morning, story at night.  I try to set goals as well:  at least five hundred words for each blog post, at least one thousand words for the story.  I always hit my five hundred on the blog; it’s important to do that, at least to me.

But the story?  I tend to slip there.  A lot of it usually involves my brain turning into various kinds of mush around 9 PM, or there abouts, and if I’m still writing, I suddenly find it very difficult to continue.  Even so, when that happen, I generally aim for at least five hundred words before I put the story aside.

Last night was one of those cases.  I was working on Part Seven of Diners at the Memory’s End, and I worked on a scene in that part where the AI of the spaceship that belongs to one of my main characters is working on the outer hull of the vessel, and she’s–yeah, the AI is a she–split herself into eight different parts, all of whom are dressed like the Inner and Outer Senshi from Sailor Moon.  There is a lot of description about what they’re doing, what they look like, and then a little banter, and then Albert and Meredith return to the main cabin, and . . .

I couldn’t remember a damn thing.

I knew Meredith was going to say something, and in order to change the subject, Albert was going to ask her a question, but I’ll be damned if I could remember where Meredith was going with her questions–and she does have questions.  Rather than struggle, I shut it all down, did a few Facebook posts, and headed to bed.

Total word count for what I did was 1045 words.  People told me how prolific I was–

I always feel like I’m doing nothing.

NaNoWriMo was a huge thing for me.  That was the first time I wrote a novel, and finished it.  I did 85,000 words in 25 days, and blogged about doing it.  I averaged 3,400 words a day, but that’s because there were a few days when I was writing 4,500, 4,800 words.  Oh, sure, there were a couple of people who wrote their whole fifty thousand in two days, and then went on to brag they wrote a couple more novels in the remaining time, but . . . where is that novel now?  Sitting in a draw?  Lost on a computer somewhere?  Mine is out to a publisher:  what about you?

Maybe it’s because I have so many thing going on these days that I don’t think there’s anything out of the ordinary about writing a thousand words a day–fifteen hundred if you add in the blog, although my word counter is telling me I’m about 725 right now, so it’s going to be higher today.  Maybe when I get to where I’m doing this all the time, I’ll get into those mind spaces where I’ll be doing two, three thousand words a day again.

‘Cause right now, it always feels like I’m playing catch up, an no matter how fast I run, I can’t seem to keep up.