17 Chapters, 73 000 words, and counting!

Yes, it’s me, the newbie, all excited to be past 70 000 words now.

I find that I am learning a few things this time around with writing a novel:

  1. Have fun.
  2. After each chapter, have it read aloud.
  3. Keep having fun.

When I was in my 20s, I was so serious about wanting to be a writer. Actually, I am still passionate about publishing my first book, but I am not as serious. I am having a great time! I’m not trying to impress anyone and I think it is making my writing better. I am actually writing this book for me!

It sounds selfish but I think most art should be. When an artists paint from their imagination, they don’t think about who will like the piece, they just create! I want to write something where I am completely unfettered by outline, schedule, or what everyone would think. Yes, I would be an idiot if I didn’t want people to like the book; I’d be ecstatic if they loved it! I just don’t want anyone’s opinion hanging over my shoulder as I develop the story, like some big dark cloud of potential disapproval. I just want to write.

Splot, from how I used to draw him in my cartoon from the 90s.
Splot, from how I used to draw him in my cartoon from the 90s.

I’ve now reached that magic place where I’ve fallen in love with my characters, and will be sad not to write about them when the story ends. It will be like saying goodbye to fast friends I made at summer camp!

At 17 chapters, I find it’s time to sit back and let Celia—what I named the  British voice in my Google phone that reads e-books to me—take me from the beginning of the story until this point. I want to make sure there is a coherence in my style of humorous fantasy, and I hope to catch anything that doesn’t make sense. This very loose way of writing really works for me, because I have to be so structured in my paying jobs. The novel is my unstructured play, and it is so good for my mood and mind as a whole.

However, the biggest lesson I’ve discovered from my story is that I might need a 12-step program for dessert consumption. Yeah, I mean it. I’m starting to call my tummy Virj Belly.

But you know, cupcakes. Exactly.

Cait Gordon has been a senior technical writer in high tech and government organizations. She is currently a Web Developer consultant for Dynamic Canvas Inc., and assistant to the Executive Director at H’Art of Ottawa. She also enjoys her crafting business, Cait Cards.

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