It's Sunday night, 6:30 PM, and I have just crawled out of the hole, the Rabbit Hole at the Queensland Writers' Centre. I am weary and emptied of words and ideas, but I am not emerging empty handed. I am 12,000 artfully arranged words richer. That's right: 12,000 words, nearly a third of my intended book, has been added to my manuscript. In fact, counting the bits I'd completed before the event, I've nearly reached the half-way point.
I sit here in my lounge with my dog snoring at my feet and a nice glass of rosé at my side and I am at peace with the world. I may not have toppled totalitarian regimes or vanquished evil from the planet. I did not right any wrongs–other than a few clunky sentences and a cluster of typos (no doubt I've missed plenty.) I may not have changed the world, but I did create one.
I'm crafting a story about the deep yearning to belong, about courage in the face of blatant evil, and about finding purpose and place when everything seems lost. My protagonist is named Mollie, and she's thrust into a world where she seems only to get in the way. Instead of wallowing in self-pity, Mollie risks all to find not only her place but also her purpose in the world. Though she's little and insignificant, she stands against evil to claim back everything that was stolen from her and to head off the forces that threaten the greater good. She faces her fears, rights wrongs, and discovers her own destiny. The question is: will she vanquish evil from the Tarkine? Or is all her effort too late?
Yeah, well, it's been a big weekend inside my head. There's evil to contend with, people!
BTW: I'd really like be to be more specific about my story, but at this stage, it's prudent to keep my cards close to my chest… Sorry to be so generic. Trust me on this one…
Today at morning tea, a new idea for the title hit me. I'd planned on calling it The Keepers. A new twist took root today. People of the world, I think we're looking at a book–an original Australian fairytale-adventure (in the tradition of Neil Gaiman's Stardust) called Finders, Keepers. Anyway, time will tell. Lesson #419 from 2013: “The author has very little say in the title. Get over it.”
In case you're into numbers, here's the white board at QWC-HQ at the close of businesss on Day 3. A few people departed without logging their count, so it's not reflective of what was really achieved today. Note the participant known as “AB” (aka, Total-Legend-In-My-Book). She clocked up in excess of 10,000 words each day on her YA manuscript. She sat nearby today where I could observe, and I can tell you this much: I'm surprised her computer wasn't emitting toxic fumes and begging for mercy. AB, I tip my hat to you. Well done! Looking forward to reading (rather than merely hearing the tic-tic-tic of) your words one day.
(I'm AS, accidentally written in red today. :S Nothing like drawing attention to one's underachievement!)