I’m starting five chapters today:
Ice Cream Headache
With each, I’ll put up the chapter title as a place holder. I’ll add the date beneath it in parentheses, and then a summary of what the chapter is about. I’ll highlight this in yellow and add <TK at the beginning, to help me remove it later. I know what I see and hear as the opening lines for each chapter, and I’ll add those lines. They will probably not be the first lines to the chapter but they’re a nugget around which to build the rest. After that process, one of those chapters will more sharply call, so I’ll take it up.
I always use <TK as an editing tool. Sometimes it’s a placeholder to insert some piece of necessary information, or to clarify or rewrite a passage. Sometimes I know the nugget, the critical piece that I want to immediately write, but know that I need a bridge to the rest of the novel, so I’ll insert <TK and explain what’s required.
I started and wrote five chapters in parallel before. Why five? I’m not certain. It’s not anything magical nor planned. Ideas are germinating. These all sprouted at the same time. I want to cultivate them so I can press on.
I suspect eight or nine chapters remain to be written in ‘Long Summer’. That includes the five I’m starting today. I suspect that means I’ll write about thirty thousand more words. I won’t bet on whether I’m right but the beginning of the end of the first draft is cresting the horizon.
Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.