Eileen R. Tabios / #EileenWritesNovel / December

Dec. 2, 2016

December 2. Or, 29 more days and I know I'll have my 2nd ever completed first draft at a long-form novel (my 2016 self-instruction was to write everyday on it). So close — and yet I post about it superstitiously so I don't fail as I approach the finish line. I've had 20 years of false starts before I could finally put this novel down on paper. Some beloved stats so far:

Countries Mentioned:
Fictitious Countries:
Named Characters:
Generations Covered (beyond historical references):
Referenced Deaths:
Referenced Births:
Unexpected-to-the-Author Plot Twists:

Hundreds of Thousands


Dec. 10, 2016

With less than a month left before completing the novel’s first draft, I’ve been anticipating the editing process that would follow. I checked my notes recently and came across something I’d forgotten but labeled months ago as “First Edit”—to change the protagonist’s profession from poetry “to something more interesting.” Hah! But I do know that I didn’t mean being a poet is not interesting; I just wanted something with more dynamic logistics than the physical act of writing.

So I'm considering alternative professions. I also want to choose something that would provide an opportunity to research interesting careers. So far, I’ve come up with Persian carpet dealer, sake distributor, and blood diamond investigator. I really like the latter. But if it ends up being project finance banker, it may be because the novel-writing would have exhausted me so much as to put me out of the mood for more research work. And I would make useful once more some past knowledge that’s become esoteric, e.g. how to finance a plant that would incinerate trash to create electricity. Then... a stray thought: how garbage has been, for me, such an effective muse.

Dec. 14, 2016

For the novel, I had a sentence, "A poet is ___." So I googled "what is a poet" to help me finish the sentence. Came across Hank Lazer's reflections on the 25th anniversary of some "What is a Poet" Symposium. Read his reflections. Not helpful for my novel, except insofar as it encouraged me to delete my incomplete sentence and avoid the topic altogether. (Which is not to say it's not useful, of course, for other matters.)

Dec. 21, 2016

Ten more days before the novel’s first draft is done and I CANNOT WAIT. I'd rather not inhabit this world much longer, a world that also causes me to write certain sentences, like:
“I was there to give him—as with all of my clients—a fairy-tale ending, a happily-ever-after. So I whipped him.”
Move along, Novel. Move along. Awaiting you is “THE END”!

Dec. 29, 2016

Easy now. Don't rush it. You think you have the last sentence. You think that last sentence is killer. It is. But between now and that killer ending sentence is a writing space where things can seize up or melt, or both. So: easy now. No need to rush it. THE END is less than 48 hours away... You've already achieved one goal: you are not the same, and you surprised yourself.

Dec. 31, 2016



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