Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A Million Words

Over the last year, I've been writing a book for my mother. When I first moved to the island, I sat on the ferry with her, travelling from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay, all my belongings in a U-Haul below deck. This was one of the biggest changes of my life, leaving the mainland, but I wasn't thinking of how monumental this decision was. I sat with my mom and talked about this idea I had for a new novel. 

You know, one of those stories about the good and wicked. 

She seemed to really enjoy the premise. After mulling for a couple months, I decided to give it a go. The beginning came easily and whenever I finished a chapter or two, I'd Skype my mom and read it over the internet. In the beginning, I had a lot of time to write because I wasn't working as much and had enough energy to be creative. Once I got a job, the writing ebbed and flowed. As it goes, my imagination suffers when punching a time clock. Not that I am complaining about having work, it's just hard to craft, create and bring characters to life when you're tired and use your brain for other things, like creating Excel spreadsheets. 

 So, writing became a weekend endeavour. I worked hard to turn out those chapters. This novel, we will call her Ramona, wasn't the only thing I was working on. I had some Pankhearst projects and this alien collaboration, and a zombie thing I was dividing my time up for. Honestly, Ramona was like pulling teeth.  But I kept at it. As some of you may know, I am the Queen of putting things to the side when I lose interest in them. At the side they will sit, eating away at me, but I never seem to find the time to pick them back up and get involved again. 

Thanks to my mother's interest, I couldn't put Ramona to the side. My mom wanted to know what happened. How it ended. If everything was resolved in the end or if there were to be more books coming. And she asked about it. Asked how it was coming along. So, not wanting to let her down, I kept at it. Toiling away. Some days I'd write a paragraph, others pages, and once in awhile I'd do really good and churn out a couple chapters. Those were the best days. Days where I slipped back into those characters with ease and knew exactly where the story was going. 

That's one of the things a lot of people don't know about writing a book. 

It changes as the characters grow and as you write it. Sometimes the ending is completely different from what you thought it was going to be. This happens a lot to people like me, anti-plotters, people who don't map out where they are going, what they are doing, and how they are going to get there. What can I say, I like my freedom. 

In the end, this is the ninth book I've written on my own. Ninth. That's hard to believe. Don't get me wrong, the first eight were terrible. I've also co-wrote three novels, that are completed. And I refuse to count how many short stories I've put to virtual paper. All those words. So many of them. Thousand. Hundreds of thousands. Over a million, believe it or not. 

I have written over a million words. 

Well, that thought simply exhausts me. But before I tuck off for a nap, I want to thank my mother for her support and interest in Ramona, the clumsy book that she is. Without her I wouldn't have finished it. It's been nice having someone who cares what happens. 

In the end, Ramona is still a work in progress. After all, a first draft does not a finished novel make. There is plenty of work to do, and plenty more books to write, but for now, this one is roughly done. The fine tweaking will start, but for now she will sit and rest, until I have the courage to take another look and bring out the red pen. 

Onto the next book. 

1 comment:

Dwayne Pike said...


Glad The Book is done! I know your Mother has enjoyed being a Part of the Process! Well Done Tyson
Dad xoxoxox