Bang Bang (My Novel Shot Me Down)

Posted: July 18, 2011 by joemu362 in Joe

So my second-session summer classes are in full swing now, and damn if it doesn’t take up a lot of time. It makes me want to punch all those dudes who remember college as idyllic and pastoral right in the naughty bits. No, seriously. It really takes it out of a guy. (The classwork, not the punching – unless you’re doing it right, of course.) As a result of that, work on CROWS’ HARVEST has been slipping to the wayside a little, which is always frustrating.

Not to mention that I am completely, totally, smash-my-head-against-the-wall-and-hope-words-come-out stuck as to where I’m supposed to go next. I mean damn.

It reminds me of something Neil Gaiman wrote once about how he writes a book: “One word at a time.” That’s kind of been my mantra over this past little speed bump. Thing is, I’ve never ever written a book that’s been over 50k words. Ever. Not once. With a 50k novel, especially if you do it in a month, you sort of know what to expect. Week two (words 13, 333 and 23, 333, if you’re interested) is when the shit hits the fan. Characters go limp, insecurity sets in, you wonder if anyone would mind if you hide in your crawlspace for the rest of your life – at least until you run out of Dr. Pepper and those crazy Cheeseburger-flavored Doritos, anyway. (Have you tried those things? They’re fucking weird.)

Well, from everyone I’ve read and talked to, hiding in the crawlspace is not an acceptable means of advancing your writerly career. Writerness. Writership. You know what, whatever. I’m just making up words here. The point is, what I’ve learned is that over the course of writing a book, this happens a lot. Like, a lot a lot. The trick is to just keep pushing through it. (That sounded dirty.) That’s what separates the men from the boys, the women from the girls, the fluffy space alien creatures from Alpha Centauri to the still-sort-of-scaly space alien creatures from Alpha Centauri. So what’d I do?

I wrote out a synopsis of the book so far. Starred the things that I thought needed further review, and all of a sudden, a wealth of ideas exploded from there.

So now I’m making progress. I’ll keep you posted. Also, in case you didn’t notice, Chris posted yesterday, so check out what his latest project is. We’ll see if we can’t get Dan and Pierce to update here soon also.

Stata buon.



  1. Digging the links. And I do love me those cheeseburger Doritos.

    And I might be stealing this “synopsis” idea sometime when I hit a wall.

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