Why is there always so much more to say when things are bumpy? When the road is all uphill, there's plenty to talk about. Right now, though, things are pretty smooth, I have a plan for the next bit I'm going to write, and things are looking good, and while I like reporting those things, I'm finding that it makes for a really short check-in.
I wrote 4,235 words yesterday. This may be helping with my shortage of words today. I also have a really bad headache--probably sinuses due to the cold, wet weather. That may be another part of why I don't have much to say.
Now that I think about it a little more, though, I think a big part of why I don't have much to say right now is that I'm not entirely sure what my next steps are despite what I said above. Sure, I know the very next step is to finish the scene I was in the middle of yesterday. After that, things are a little muddy. I don't have a clear picture of the scenes after this one, and that always makes me uncomfortable. I am always afraid that I won't be able to fill in those blanks. In all honesty, so far I haven't managed to fill in those middle parts of a novel. I have never reached the end of a novel length draft, and while things are going better than in the past, I still don't have that secure feeling of "I can do this, I know how this works."
I know the answer to this dilemma is to just keep moving forward. Keep taking regular breaks to figure out what the next scene is and the key things that will happen in it, and then write it. That has been working so far. And I do have that sketchy outline taking me all the way to the end of the book, so it's not like I'm completely clueless. I just have to get comfortable with only being able to really see a little bit of what's coming up at a time.
“Writing is like driving at night in the fog. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
― E.L. Doctorow