A new target

Photo of street map of York

I’ve taken a couple of months away from contracting to work on the sequel to Fallen Warriors and ready another book for publication. I ended up needing almost all of the first month to ready that book and was finally able to send it to the printers at the weekend and am now focusing back on Fallen Warriors.

I like big targets for my writing. Huge, seemingly impossible goals that are quite at odds with how I tackle other projects. I had in mind that I would write 5,000 words a day and produce a 100,000 word draft by the end of May, then perhaps even go on to write the first draft of the final book of the trilogy in June.

I started actually writing today and managed 1,000 words.

Considering that I’m trying to switch my gears from editing mode to creative mode, that might not be too bad. In the last month of “editing” Fallen Warriors, I actually first draft wrote most of the final chapters. They were then edited, they were proof read, but the story just flowed out as ten years of subconscious thought made itself known. That was while I was working full time.

Over four weeks I virtually wrote 2,000 words a day in three hours or less. It should be possible to write 5,000 words a day when I’m working full time at it.

In theory.

5,000 words a day seems like a goal worth pursuing. The first draft of any book doesn’t have to be perfect. It just needs to get the story out and since with each of my books there has been a process of rewriting and editing, I know I can and will improve on the first draft. Also, I have always needed to delete scenes and chapters. So why waste time carefully writing scenes that may eventually have to be cut?

I already know I’m not going to have all of June available, other commitments have taken priority. It might take me a week or two to get up to speed, but that’s okay. My main goal is to tell a gripping and enjoyable story. If I can do that faster, fantastic.

If it takes a bit longer, that’s also okay. I’ll be posting daily updates from Thursday onwards. Tomorrow is a different kind of day, but more about that later…

What if none of it was fiction?

I published last Sunday’s post knowing that a good many people consider Genesis to be a work of fiction. I don’t. I believe it all happened as recorded, witnessed by the one doing the creating – God.

There are other portions of the bible I’m less sure of. I think that most people believe that Jesus was comfortable sharing made up stories, parables we call them about shepherds and muggings and lost coins and farmers. There is the book of Job which I suspect most people dismiss simply because it starts in a place no human observer has ever been – Heaven.

The Psalms are simply songs, there are a few books that simply contain words of wisdom: Proverbs, The Song of Songs, and potentially one of the most depressing books of all: Ecclesseasties… So, neither fiction, nor history. Perhaps you could even class them as the first Dummies Guides To… Well, The Song of Songs would be the first Dummies Guide to Sex. I really should re-read that…

There are a lot of books of prophecy in the Bible. Kind of hard to classify that using the Dewey method. Non-Fiction that hasn’t happened yet? Alternative Future History? Actually, that might be exactly the right classification as the impression given throughout the Bible is that whatever the blessing promised through the prophecy, it can be lost if we insist on rebelling against God and whatever destruction is warned against could potentially be avoided if we seek our creator, turn from evil, start showing love and kindness to those around us, especially the poor and the weak.

Back to the original question though. What if none of the Bible was fiction?

Genesis and Job share one common factor, they both begin from God’s perspective. Recorded outside of human experience. It shouldn’t really surprise us that the God who is so involved throughout the rest of the Bible would share a little of events outside of our experience, especially since the entire direction of our history seems to involve God trying to lead us back to a place where he can walk and talk with us as he did in Eden.

I wonder sometimes if even Jesus, when he told those parables, was actually using illustrations he’d witnessed. It’s not hard to imagine him turning real events into generalised stories in order to make a point.

Regardless, the Bible remains the most powerful book available to us today. Are you reading it?