Yep, I went over 100,000 words last night, and boy did it feel good. Did it right in the middle of another shoot-out, too, this time in Kentucky (those pesky Johnsons showed up in the storyline again).
As of now, I have no idea how long this thing is gonna end up being. There’s still a lot of ground to cover, so 120,000 might not get it. And it might. I kinda doubt it, though. What I have in mind is an awful lot of stuff to cram into 20,000 words. I’m afraid it would feel rushed.
Right now, though, it feels good to have passed that mark. to me, that means it’s definitely a sustainable novel (though I’ve had very few doubts on that front anyway). What feels even better is that the people in my writing group liked the first five pages. They like the voice and that the story is told from the opposite side of the law. Sure, my guy is working as an informant, but he’s still not the heroic DEA/FBI/add-your-own-agency-here agent. He’s a guy who’s gotten wrapped up in big events, things he never imagined he’d be involved in.
But isn’t that the definition of a hero? I mean, we see these anti-heroes these days, as though we have reached a point where we’re too good for honest heroes. Well, there’s a principle in modern writing that says we need to portray our antagonists as real people who don’t really stand around in outlandish costumes thinking of themselves as Ming the Merciless, furthering the cause of evil. And it makes sense. As an example, do you really think even Hitler considered himself to be evil? I’m not rationalizing what he did, just using an extreme example (and it is extreme). He apparently thought Jews were evil, and Gypsies and anyone else who didn’t agree with him. But, in his mind, what he did made perfect sense. As writers, that’s what we’re supposed to do with our antagonists, because then the reader understands why they are doing whatever it is they’re doing. It’s not just some blanket reason of “Oh, they’re evil.”
Anyway, what I’m getting at is that sure, maybe my protagonist is a law-breaker, and now he’s getting even deeper into that mindset (that was what he was thinking about in my writing session last night). But he’s still Everyman, caught up in things larger than he ever thought possible, and he’s just starting to realize it.
As I see it, the question I have to answer is: what will he do with that knowledge?
Not sure if I can answer that in 20,000 words LOL.
So there are my Deep Thoughts for this week. I know it’s short, but I have to get on the road shortly for writer’s group.