Now 91k words in; it looks like I may need all 120k after all. but that’s fine; it’s a limit, not a penalty.
I can’t resist big dialogue fight scenes; I love trying to get dialogue to flow naturally and feel visceral and intuitive, and while I’m certain I’ve overdone it with this draft, the practice can’t hurt. and if even one of them works, I’ll be pretty happy.
It is interesting to note that, even with a very clear-cut path to the finish-line now, it’s still a bit of a chore to keep things on-track. You just don’t know how a scene is going to play out until you actually write it, how all the mechanics are going to interact together, if they will at all – and if you force it to happen, rather than taking the time to figure out how to make it fit, then it comes off as really contrived, and that’s something that I try to stay away from. I’d rather have it feel messy than contrived, at least for a first draft.
but now there are only really four scenes to go. they’re all important ones. and I’m still thinking of my two endings – the more I think about it, the less I feel I’ll need them, but I’ll certainly keep the option open; if I felt I needed it at one point, it might happen again.
I’m not quite as excited as I’d like to be. but maybe that’s because I’m still struggling with it. or maybe it’s because I know this isn’t even remotely close to being ‘finished’, because I’m planning to do an editing job on this draft pretty much immediately after it’s done. ah well. we’ll see how it feels when I get to the end.
I will most definitely not be employing a word-limit to the next first draft I write, though. as a friend reminded me today: it’s better to cut down than try and build up. it’s always better to do too much in the beginning than too little, because otherwise you’re never done with experimenting. and you need to experiment. you need time to mess around.
it’s getting there. in fact, it’s almost over.
and that is quite a heartening thought. it’s been a long year.