Well, I’m off to a slow start — I got not much writing done today, but a lot of reading/research and planning. Of course, I have NO idea what’s happening next, as well as having a strong feeling I may need to skip ahead to Book III and come back to work on Book II once I have a better idea what goes on later in the story.
I think the main problem is that I’m so close to the research right now that I’m having a hard time being imaginative enough. A lot of the stuff I’m writing is only a single step away from the real-life stuff I’ve crammed my head full of, so I think I may not actually get to dig right away into Andrei Lankov’s book North of the DMZ: Essays on Life in North Korea, which is unfortunate. Or maybe I’ll just skim as I work on Book III and then come back to Book II later. (There’s also a possibility that Book II and the character in it will get scrapped… yikes! Yet I wouldn’t feel badly about it — the words I generated last week helped me to figure out a secondary character in the narrative, as well as to figure out that I’m not so sure I want to give him a prominent role in the story I’m telling… at least, not right now. We’ll see what I think in a week or two.)
Anyway, today’s stats:
To the Happy Country…: 1762 words
Weekly Total: 1762 words
Also, I promised an excerpt. Here it is:
On the other side of the stream, a figure lurked among the trees. It was a beast with the body of a uniformed man — a man in a soldiers’ uniform — and the head of a fox.
“It’s a Japanese soldier!” the Great Leader whispered, and he crept across the leafy-bridge. The Great Leader lifted the pine cone up in his hand. Winding up, he flung it at the man. But when it reached the evil Japanese fox-man’s side, it had turned into a hand grenade. It exploded with such violence and noise that Ryun Gwon almost peed in his pants.
“Where there is one evil capitalist, others cannot fail to be lurking!” the Great Leader cried out, and suddenly, he was dressed in military garb, young again and ready to fight. “Gather yourself some pine cones, and do as I did!”
Ryun Gwon hurried from tree to tree, terrified…
UPDATE (Tuesday, June 26th): Minimal progress today.
To the Happy Country: 519 words.
Weekly Total: 2281 words
That’s okay. I can make up for it throughout the week. No worries.
UPDATE (Wednesday, June 27th): A good leap forward!
To the Happy Country: 4560 words
Weekly Total: 6841 words
I made some good headway by refusing to give up on Ryun Gwon, and by pushing things aainst themselves to see how they would fall apart. I even managed, after 4560 words, to have a little bit clearer idea where things are headed in the next writing sessions, tomorrow. So I think now’s a good time to get out for a walk, do some marking, and get some of my end-of-semester paperwork done. Whew! This breakthrough is a big help.
UPDATE (THURSDAY, June 28th/Friday June 29th): A horrible day on Thursday, followed by TONS of grading and marking, and then a major breakthrough on Friday.
Thursday, June 28th:
To the Happy Country: 651 words
Friday, June 29th:
To the Happy Country: 3256 words (so far)
Weekly Total as of 10pm Friday: 10748 words
The major breakthrough is a redefinition of how Jang Won and his life follows after his initial defeat of Kim Noh Wang. I’m quite please about it. I was at a stone-hard dead end with the stuff I was doing, but I credit my breakthrough to talking it over with Lime (though she suggested other stuff completely than what I ended up with) and also my reading of a piece about Kipling as an SF writer, and how he focused on work and duty in his fiction. That was like a big fat red arrow for me. So there we are. I’m on a weird schedule, by the way, and have at least 4-5 more hours before I sleep, so I may bang out another couple of thousand words before I sleep, to make tomorrow’s burden a little lighter. I have just over 5000 words more to do this week.
This thing is gonna need some serious editing later on, but it’s good to struggle with it, and to bang out a draft. I actually like working at this pace. But for my body’s sake, I think it’s time for a walk, and, well, dinner would be a good idea.