Stuck…

baby-warthog-stuck-in-mud-10-12-08In answer to Larn‘s challenge on the LOL Literary Forum awhile back, I decided to concentrate on Old Dogs, hoping to finish a first draft-type thingy. My goal was 100,000 words by the end of September. Now, I know it’s still the beginning of September, but I seem to be hovering around 81,000 words. The more I write and read and edit, the more I keep culling little bits and pieces here and there, thereby reducing my word count. I keep getting ideas for Valerie and Daniel, but for the story that will follow Old Dogs, not the current one.

Why the hang-up on the word count? It’s something to obsess over, I suppose, and They (the writing resource websites I tend to haunt) say 85,000-100,000 words is a decent first novel length. Less than that might make a potential reader shy away, thinking they’re not getting enough bang for their buck, while longer makes publishers shy away, afraid that it won’t sell because it’s too long and won’t hold a reader’s attention.  Who knows if trying to adhere to that will help or hurt my ultimate chances of getting published.

In other concerns, NaNoWriMo is coing up and I have two ideas to choose from. One is an idea that has simmered for years, about a woman named Molly who runs a bar near a Florida military base. I have some material already simmering in my brain for this one. Alternately, there is the dream-inspired story that leapt into my head a few weeks ago. A young woman is driven by her dreams, literally, to figure out which world she belongs in, the waking world that has not been overly kind to her or the dream world, where a silver-tongued man named Will beckons to her. The latter has those shades of the supernatural that I’m always drawn to, but I’ve been enjoying writing Old Dogs, which has nothing more fantastical in it than two people falling in love.  It may come down to the flipping of a coin which one I concentrate on.

Tomorrow will bring the rewriting of the dreaded opening scene, which I am told (and rightly so) that it reads like a promotional brochure to Small Town Florida. I shall endeavour to correct that and make it a much more appealing first look into Valerie’s life.

I hope…

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