As I embark on my literary journey, I find it interesting how real life plays out on in fiction. The one lesson that I truly learned in all my English classes was that all writing is autobiographical. I didn’t really understand it at the time but as I truly begin to redefine what writing means to me, I see the meaning of that statement clearer than ever.
I have always thought about writing a book. Lord knows that I have talked about it for way too long. A few years ago I start writing short stories sporadically. Nothing fancy, straight to the point. Most were sexual in nature and all were based, in part, on the fragility of relationships. To date, I have written 11 stories. One of these stories, however, is missing. I have no idea where it went. It may have died in one of my failed hard drives.
Out of those stories, I converted one into a potential novel that I have not finished yet. Most of that story is in my head and every so often, I will add a chapter to it. However, there is a part of me that feels that I am simply not ready to finish that book yet. The other short stories are something I have been tinkering with. Maybe I will combine them into a larger book and called it a day.
Right now my main focus is to finish a story that I have been working for a little less than a month. It is the most I have ever written in one document. There was a point where I was thinking about a page number that I wanted to reach all the while knowing that a page in MS Word is not the same as a page in a book. For example, I know that roughly 30 pages in Word is close to about 60 pages in a novel. So my goal was about a 110 pages in total. But then I started thinking about it differently. Pages themselves may not matter because it all depends on the content and the words being used.
Sure, I can write “fuck” and copy it over and over for 120 pages on Word, but does that make it a novel? I read somewhere that Stephen King writes 5 thousand words per day. That seems like an insane amount that is necessary for him. That is a full time job to just come up with that number of words everyday. Then it really got me thinking that I need to focus on the amount of words that I feel I need to have. So I looked up the average amount of words that are in a novel and I came up with this:
- Romance Novels ranges from 50,000 words to 100,000 words
- Science fiction minimum is 80,000 words
- Mystery minimum is around 70,000 words
- Mainstream averages around 100,000 words.
The number of words don’t scare me. I see this as a goal. As of this blog post, I am at 28,440 words (52 MS Word pages). While this is a fictionalized story, there is a certain cathartic feeling that I get with every page that pours out of me. It gives me hope that I can finish this goal and yet tell a pretty decent story. I suppose that I was always meant to move past a blog to a book since I have written so much over the years. I just didn’t know when I was going to get to that point.
As crazy as it seems, I do have an alternative motive behind this. I feel like I need to leave something behind. I think that this blog and blogs of the past are great but what tangibility does it really leave? Who reads past words if they aren’t relevant anymore? It is not like there is a library that someone one can look up blogs a hundred years from now. I want to leave a piece of myself when I am gone. Something that perhaps my children and thier children can look back at say that they can find a book that I wrote in a Library (whether that be a physical one or a virtual one).
I want to be able to be an old man in either a rest home or a hospital and see actual book with my name on them. True immortality is based on the legacy that is left behind. I can only achieve that if I write.
Ficton or not.