Monday, November 15, 2004

Week 2 Update

Ocean view

I completed Week 2, my first real full week of writing Gumbo, and I'm happy to say that I'm way ahead of schedule with 35,000+ words. After a slow start and penning only 3380 words in the first week (all in one single session), I'm more than pleased with some of the characters. I've set the novel to take place in several cities, at least in six different locales so far, and that's been a lot of fun to write.
This week's binge:
Monday: 6734 words
Tuesday: 6440
Wednesday: 6085
Thursday: 4639
Friday: 5801
Saturday: 1971
I actually hit than 5,000 words on Saturday. I didn't like the majority of what I wrote and decided to make a crucial decision and rewrite the bulk of the chapter. I put aside what I originally wrote for future use as a springboard if I ever choose to go back and re-write the novel heading in that particular direction. As is, I needed a break. On Sunday I rested and didn't even look at any of the previous pages. I wanted some distance. I wanted a fresh start today. The material I was grappling with on Saturday was hyper-intense, personal, and at times painful. I had to visit some not so nice memories of my past and that serious task drained me emotionally (for the first time this project). There has come a point in every one of my previous novels where I hit an point of emotional exhaustion (usually due to sleep deprivation) and I had to walk away for a day to preserve my sanity.

I usually begin each session reading the previous chapter twice. That gives me a better idea of where I'm headed. I print up pages at the end of the writing day. Before I crash I'll take notes and read it through. At some point everyday, I make an effort to read the entire novel from start to finish. With almost 70% done, it takes me a lot longer to do that but that also tells me that I'm very close to finishing up.

The chapters are all about the same length, on the average of 5,000+ words.
Chapter 1: 5083
Chapter 2: 5034
Chapter 3: 6440
Chapter 4: 4563
Chapter 5: 5344
Chapter 6: 6618
I am trying to work at a slower pace to insure that I don't rush the ending, a major flaw in my previous manuscripts. As I'm approaching the final stretch, I don't want to burn out. It's going to take all my energy to stay focused.

Visit Gumbo for five different novel excerpts and updates. I might post another later today.

OK, I should be done with the first draft by Friday. Which is good news. I can proofread the manuscript over the weekend, tweak the dialogue and have a completed second draft done a few days before Turkey Day. And then, finally, I can get back in the loop reading my favorite blogs, playing poker at Party Poker, hanging out in NYC, and before you know it I'll be back to full time blogging infecting the cyber world with my drivel.

If you are bored, you can visit any number of the new blogs I added to the blogroll to get your poker fix. If you have a new poker blog and want a link exchange, shoot me an email.

Random Pictures

For all my Phishy phriends.

I posted a couple of pictures to Gumbo that I took in Rhode Island when I was not writing. Take a peek. Maybe I'll post more.

Fantasy Pauly

For complete fantasy pools updates, visit Pauly's Pub. If you haven't paid me for the football pool, please make arrangements today otherwise I will send Al Cant Hang to your house. He's drink all your booze and eat all your food until you pay me.

Poker Bloggers Tournament in Vegas

Yes, twenty five days from now I'll be in Las Vegas. There are only a few seats left for the Holiday Classic (Dec. 11th at 1pm PCT at Sam's Town Casino, $50 entry fee) and if you are a poker blogger and want to play in the tournament, send me an email ASAP. If you need a room for the weekend, contact Dick the poker room manager from Sam's Town and book by the 19th. He helped arrange a special poker rate for us at $69 a night. I'm still shocked I was able to get a Las Vegas casino to host a private tourney for all of us! We will be having at least one celebrity guest. More to come.

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