I have just posted the 19th entry for One by One, and that puts me at about 52,455 words. On my manuscript I’m a few thousand words ahead, having reached 54,586 today, which means that in 12 days I will be reaching the end of the novel, which is officially slated to come in at 84,940 but may end up being more than that if I write enough.

A few thoughts:

I’ve been writing One by One without a clear idea as to where it would go, how things would turn out, what the ending would look like. I still only have a vague idea as to how it will end, and even that vague notion may prove incorrect, as my characters have already surprised me more than once and changed the course of the plot from where I had thought it would go. That means I am literally making it up as I go along, and turst me, that’s an exciting/terrifying way to write, because I’m as much of a spectator as I am the writer, and that I’m kind of terrified/thrilled to see how it will all end up.

Writing fast feels like tailgating an eighteen wheeler at 95 mph. You take your eyes off the ball for just a moment and your novel could get smooshed, as there’s no time to edit, go back, correct, second guess your self.

On the other hand, it’s incredibly fun.

Second concern: I really need to start thinking about Novel #2. That’s going to have to start full force in just 13 days, a whole new concept, cast of characters, plot, tone, genre, everything. I’m going to have to come up with something that will sustain this speed of writing for 30 days, that will have enough breadth and depth to keep me writing and entertained, and that I will be able to dive into from the get-go.

Ideas thus far (and thank you Will for some excellent suggestions) involve:

  • Re-writing a science fiction novel whose premise I loved back in 2008 but only got 30k words into
  • A fantasy novel that would invert Jekyll & Hyde with an orc as a protagonist (strongest contender as of 7:38pm, 1/19/2011) 
  • A space dinosaur western (think Flash Gordon meets Cormac McCarthy with space faring velociraptors and Rasputin for a protagonist)
  • Any other number of ideas that come and go, talking of Michelangelo.

Either way, this thing is happening fast. Before you know it One by One will be finished, and then, and then, and then?

I can’t wait found to find out.