The case for the defence and one little word

by SJ Griffin

Write a book they said, then back it up with some social media activity they said, it’ll be fun they said.

It is sort of fun, but it is definitely not as much fun as writing a book. Writing a book is the most fun you can have. I’m sure there should be a caveat to that which involves the removal of clothes but let’s move swiftly on.

This is my way of working up to an apology for not sticking to my one post a week pledge. I have not stuck to it in the same way that Charlie Sheen has not stuck to being a well-balanced, well-meaning human being. I’ve been away so long they changed WordPress. I have managed to remember my username and my password. This is nothing short of miraculous.

And now, in the manner of many apologies, before the word any utterance of the word sorry comes the defence.

I have been concentrating on finishing the first draft of The Replacement. I finished it right at the end of 2012. It took eight weeks and I gave myself a target of writing 12,000 words a week. I have a full-time-pay-the-rent job, so it felt like quite a challenge but necessary if I want to be completely finished by the end of April.

So, here’s what I did churn out instead of writing charming and erudite things for you:

Week 1: 12,234

Week 2: 14,636

Week 3: 16,340

Week 4: 13,361

Week 5: 9, 427 (What? I was tired from weeks one through four)

Week 6: 10,403 (Still tired)

Week 7: 13,150

Week 8: 4, 253

I realise now that if I’d not be so lazy, I mean tired, in weeks five and six I would have been able to have a whole week off. I could have written a blog post.

I’m now going through this first draft and adding all the bits in that I missed out, often because I hadn’t thought of them yet, and reworking the bits that now don’t work because I’ve added in the bits that I missed out. I’m halfway through and the word length is growing so it will be the same kind of length as The Vanguard. I seem to add about a third again at this point.

I’m intending to write more about the first draft, someone called it a ‘down draft’ which I think is useful – as in ‘get it down’, and something that might be useful about approaching a first revision. But what with all the mechanically enhanced humans, talking refrigerators and a very grumpy Minos I might get all distracted again…