Update From the Half-Way Point

I wanted to post a quick update from the half-way point to confess I have been otherwise occupied for the last several days. My word count has stalled at a little over 17,000 words. Hopefully I can get things moving again over the next couple of days: Even two or three great days will have me back on track.

A few of things I’m pretty confident of after two weeks of plugging away at this thing:

1) I’m not funny, or satirical, or humourous. Where I can provoke a smirk out of a reader, it’s when the obvious ‘straight man’ unexpectedly cracks wise. My original intention was to use the conversations between a narrator who has lived for millennia and a physical incarnation of Death as a light-hearted framing device between episodes of historical fiction. I’ve been trying that for days now, and I cannot convincingly make that work. Not in 30 days, anyway.

2) As such, my admittedly provisional title is probably not long for this world. If I can’t create a spark between the narrator and the backpacker, Death is just going to have to be demoted from title-worthy down to conclusion-driving device. We’ll see if I can still work in a bit of character development: I haven’t lost all hope here. I’m just admitting things have not evolved as I would have wished.

3) When I get going, I can shoot out 2,000 words as easily as I can whistle a happy tune. When I’m trying to get going, though, it’s like pushing a gold fish across a soccer field with your nose: It’s not an impossibility, but getting it done is a laborious task, and it would probably be a sight to see if a would-be spectator should wander by.

Anyway, I need to go change my laundry load. That and writing are all I have left to do today. Happy writing for some and reading for all. Cheers!

3 thoughts on “Update From the Half-Way Point”

  1. Not humorous? There’s certainly double and triple duty in passages like these, much of it serious, but I’m going to assert a decided undertow of humour here and throughout.

    “enjoying all the delicacies of the mammoth that would not keep in the freezing ground”
    “He rose every morning from his sleeping robes, kissed his wives on their forehead”
    “ ‘I am too old,’ my father shrugged, holding out his arms as if his age was there on his sleeves, obvious to all.”
    “Eventually I learned things from her that have made thousands of toes curl since.”

    Title: whatever its suitability in that role, what I found provocative about the phrase was its inversion of all our usual assumptions, which is that death actually needs to feed on life (Grim Reaper, vampires, avenging ghosts, zombies all need fortification from the living). But maybe life, as in your caveman epic, needs to feed on death — from the mammoth delicacies to the splattering of the father, that’s how it’s sounding!

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