Saturday, 5 May 2012

Rainman, Belle Dame Sans Merci and Lullaby of Lies

Writing first drafts of novels can turn you a little bit into Rainman. You start off, and it's all about the small numbers. You go as fast as you can to get to a hundred words, three figures. Next is 111 ( you need to get rid of the zeros) next is 125 (an eighth of a thousand) 200,  222, 250, 300, 333, 400, 444 and 500.

That's ten results to celebrate before you've written five hundred words. If you know what to say, if there's nothing on TV and you can stay away from the internet for long enough, you can do it in twenty minutes.

The first five hundred words of Lullaby of Lies is mainly preface. It's going to be re-written, of course, but it includes this line, that I like enough to be fairly sure it will still be there when it's finally available.

'Morgan’s fingertips brushed against the wall and two fingernails fluttered to the ground, like the pale wings of a dying moth.'

It's all the same on the way to 1000. From then on, the thousands are the milestones. They're the excuse to stop and have a cup of coffee and stare out the window. But of course there are new super milestones. 1111, 2222, etc. These are cool, as are 2,500 and 7,500, up to 10,000 then you add 11,111 to the mix, as well as the mega-super milestones, 25,000, 50,000, and 75,000.

Which is where I am now with the first draft of Lullaby of Lies. 75,000 words. Hopefully today I'll get to 76,666 and tomorrow 77,777. How awesome will that be? To be honest, if you're not completely sunk in this thing like I am, not very awesome at all, but like I said, writing novels makes you even odder than you are to start off with.

This is going to be bad news for those of you who are waiting eagerly for Lullaby of Lies, and I'm sorry. When I finish the first draft I'll set a definite release date, but I guess it'll be August. Between then and now, though, there are going to be some pretty exciting Levels events and give aways, so watch this space. In the meantime, here's the last sentence I wrote, including word 77,777.

'I ran back towards Kieran. His face looked like a hideous skull with the jaw strained unnaturally wide and all his teeth gleaming as he forced out the end of a dying scream.'

What do you make of that? 

Oh, and one other little clue. take a look at the picture at the top of this post. 'La Belle Dame Sans Merci.' It's not there just cos it's pretty...


  1. I watched Rainman (again) last night!

    Also your numbers are weird. Everyone knows it's a nice round 1000 word a day lower limit that is normal.