And for probably two or three weeks now, I’ve been telling my beta readers and close writing friends that it would be done… “Probably in a day or two.” Or, “Just two more scenes, most likely.”
And I’ve said that multiple times. “Probably in a day or two.” “Just two more scenes, most likely.”
And then tonight I cranked out another 2,700 words. (For me, that’s a marathon, by the way. I’m a plodder, not a sprinter — with a good night being 800-ish to a 1,000 words and an average one being 500 to 700.)
So, frustrated tonight, I decided to re-read my writing tips file that I’ve collected through the past ten-plus years, and do some online research. Maybe ole’ Stan was losing his touch, right?
I mean, the 2,700 words I wrote tonight felt solid. Like, really good. But, I just crossed 90,000 words and I still haven’t gotten to those two final scenes that I know must happen. (Most novels should aim for 60-80,000 words.)
Then, I read this by George R. R. Martin, a legend obviously, and felt instantly comforted.
“Sometimes these damn characters have a mind of their own and refuse to do what I want them to do”. — George R R Martin
So, the book will be done soon. Probably in a day or two. Just two more scenes, most likely.
And because you guys rock and are such great supporters of mine, here’s some serious motivation I found while trolling the internet, trying to confirm my writer skills weren’t dead.
From, again, George R R Martin. (And if you had to click that link above to figure out who he was, you should seriously punch yourself right in the face.)
Remember: Winter is coming
Valar morghulis — All men must die. I think an awareness of our own mortality is something that concerns most art and literature. But I don’t think that necessarily translates to a pessimistic worldview. Just like in the real world, my characters are only here for a short time; the important thing is that love, passion, empathy, laughter; even laughing in the face of death, is still possible. There is darkness in the world but we don’t have to give way to despair. One of the best themes in The Lord of the Rings is that despair is the ultimate crime. Winter is coming, but you can light the torches and drink the wine and gather around the fire and continue to fight the good fight.
Thanks for being such great supporters, guys. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate it and how thankful I feel to be where I am, chasing my dream with every ounce of energy and courage that I can muster, trying to make it to that next mile marker just up the hill a ways.
And I promise: The book will be good. It will have multiple hand-to-hand scenes. And Nick Woods and his crew (yeah, I know, a new development for the typical sniper/loner) will bag some cartel dudes… (Okay, more like a lot of cartel dudes… But would you expect anything less from me?)
Oh, and it will be done soon. Probably in a day or two. Just two more scenes, most likely.
Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
P.S. If you enjoy fast-paced books, you just might like my works. “Sold Out” tracks the life of a legendary Marine Sniper after a CIA unit decides to kill him for reasons of national security. “Little Man, and the Dixon County War” tells the uphill fight a young deputy faces after surviving three years of war only to find himself in the sights of a mighty cattle baron. And “Soldier On,” a short novel, follows the lives of several German soldiers in a depleted infantry company trying to make it through the final, miserable months of World War II.