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Friday, December 16, 2011

The Chronicles of Tom - Part 1: The Plan

I have the next two weeks off for vacation. I plan to finish a novel that started out a few years ago with my ex-brother in-law as an exercise in email exchanges advancing a storyline created only for our own amusement. Details to come in "The Chronicles of Tom - Part 2: The Back-Story".

This gives me 14 days to complete a book that is approximately halfway finished. My books are usually around 200 pages - I get bored and have no idea how to proceed beyond that point. Stephen King astounds and amazes me. It's like I compose coloring books in comparison, but that is neither here nor there - let's do the math... If I write 10 pages per day, I should end up with a completed first draft, unless things spiral out of control and I suddenly turn into a real novelist, whose works often span many hundreds of pages. Frankly, I haven't the patience nor the diligence, so I am assuming I will be done by the launch of the new year.

The plan is thus: I will get up every morning (unless the powers that be have alternate plans for me) and go to the gym. This will suck, but I am willing to pitch in for the long-term betterment of me (again, unless the powers that be decide to veto my plans). After the gym, I will treat my days as a work day, only with Scotch, which is much better than a regular work day. I have decided to go Hemingway with this book, keeping a bottle at the right hand and a shotgun at the left, just in case I need it. This is that kind of book.

I have written other novels and used CDs as the background soundtrack to their composition. When I wrote "Speaking of Michelangelo", I played The Pistoleros throughout - when I wrote "In For a Penny; In For a Pound", I had Harry Connick Jr. on the player. With "Killing Tom", there has been no such soundtrack. Perhaps tomorrow I will find one. Maybe The Band - that might work out just fine.

I usually set my sights on three pages per day. Of course, that's part-time goal-setting. I will go for the ten for the duration of the vacation. Not as hard as it sounds, when all you have to do is rue the gym and scoff at laundry.

I am going to set up my laptop for when I want "Restaurant Impossible" as my passenger and work at the desktop when The Band needs to climb aboard. I will mount an attack on two fronts - three, if you count the gym...

So, that's the deal - follow along if you like, it costs nothing to follow this blog - and I will be back to the usual nonsense soon enough. For now, this medium will be used to help me focus and to finish up the darkest, funniest book to date.

Wish me luck.

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