Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Consumed by the NIP

Last night, after a full day of dicking around and fretting and tweaking, I finally crossed page 200 in my novel-in-progress. I’d suggest we call it my NIP, but some people might get the wrong idea, so let’s actually call it my “work-in-progress.” My WIP. I’d prefer VIP, but I can’t think of a word that starts with a “V” that would refer to the most frustrating, complicated, messy novel I’ve ever had the balls to write.

Don’t get me wrong—it’s coming together. Every day I begin what’s come to feel like an agonizing marathon in clogs, with people along the route holding orange slices and Dixie cups filled with bad, demoralizing news instead of water, but every day I meet the page goal, somehow, and say to myself. “That wasn’t so bad. Off to bed, have to do it all over again tomorrow!”

After I got about 50 pages in, I began to sail, and like calendar pages flying by in an old movie, the pages rapidly multiplied. Now I’m floating on a warped, water-logged board in the middle of the ocean, parched and sunburned, desperate for a breeze to push me toward the right shore.

I have essentially eleven days until I am back at work full-time, at which point my fiction will be back-burnered, at least until I adjust to the new schedule. So I push through the empty space, nearly racing to beat the clock.

Darn stomach, demanding to be filled with food I must purchase with a paycheck.

So that’s where I’ve been these last few weeks. Cranking out the prose, trying to knit subplots together and keep track of the crazy characters who’ve come to seem like real people to me.

Also, this is going on:

This recently finished:

And the monster that's eaten my front flowerbed shows no signs of abating:

I’ll be scarce around here until September, but if you need me, you know where to find me. Unshowered and highly caffeinated, hunched over my computer keyboard.

Added on edit: I just came across this link today that explains it all. Perfectly.