Yesterday I hit 70,000 words on the novel, which is good news indeed. I was aiming for a total word count of 70,000, but I ain't done yet. Three major scenes to tackle and then I get to type those magic words, THE END. I've somehow managed to stick to my personal goal of 1000 words a day to get this thing finished in November. A bit of discipline was just what the doctor ordered.
Lately I've become a little bit obsessed about something and I thought I might as well share it with you. When it comes to writing, I'm not a planner. I'm what's known as a pantser (lovely moniker). I fly by the seat of my pants, with little or no idea of what's going to happen next. It's an exciting way to write, because essentially you're in exactly the same position as the reader - hopefully on the edge of your seat.
But I find myself worrying about all the possible alternatives - the things I don't write. What if one of those gazillion other options would have been better than the one I chose. For instance, I wrote a scene where a couple of my characters went to a cafe and were served by a Portuguese waitress. The scene is perfectly adequate. But what if they'd entered the cafe, sat down and found themselves being served by a flamingo wearing a bowtie? Now that would have been interesting. The story could have gone down a whole different route. It could have touched on so many important issues, like the ridiculously low wages flamingos are being paid these days. Or maybe not.
OK, maybe that's not the best example. But you know what I mean, right? Are there an infinite number of alternative versions of the novel floating around out there somewhere? Where the characters argue, or run off without paying, or dance the Macarena, or kiss? Who's to say the version I've chosen to put down on paper is the right one - the best one?
Hmm. This is all a bit philosophical for a Tuesday. I'd better go and make a cup of tea.