Three Months Into the Novel

Writing my still untitled romance novel has been wild (and not just because of the explicit sex scenes). I spent months with the idea marinating in my brain, but when it came time to actually write the thing… Holy fuck. All I can say is: it’s a lot of fucking words.

I’m happy with my progress and proud of my work so far. But, damn, it’s a lot of words to write every day. I wrote 1600 words a day, five days a week until I finished my first draft. Naively, I believed this would not affect my screenwriting productivity. How silly of me. I’ve fared pretty well. I still manage to work on my screenwriting for 2-3 hours most days, but I’ve found that the quality of my writing, whether of the prose or screen variety, suffers by hour four or five.

Still, it is a strange experiment. Writing sexy sex scenes helps keep me from the temptation to make my awkward funny sex scenes sexy. I like playing with the two extremes– (near) pornographic, mind-blowing sex, and horribly realistic sex.

Mostly, I like the feeling of control it gives me. Surely, this is more naivety, but I feel like I am the one with all the power. I can write whatever I want. I can edit it. I can publish it. I can market it. I don’t need anyone else to tell me yes. I don’t need a lot of money. I don’t need a distribution platform.

I am at a very early stage in my screenwriting career. I have had whispers of movement but made no real, measurable progress except in the quality of my material. I have neither an agent nor a manager. I have not sold anything or had any work produced. I do not have attention. Almost none of these things are within my control. I can take steps to put myself in the right place at the right time or to meet the right people, but I cannot meet any of these milestones by force of will. I need other people, and luck, on my side.

But, with self-publishing, I do not need to appease any gatekeepers. I only need to appease readers, to earn their trust so they buy my second, third, fourth book. It will not be easy, but writing never is.

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