At the end of week two of my schedule, I’m six chapters in and just shy of 16,000 words. The last chapter threw me a curve ball by turning out half as long again as any of the others, and so taking longer than anticipated to compose. I’ve no idea if that’s because I’ve overwritten it, or there was just lots of story to tell.
No matter. Now isn’t the time to worry about such things. With ghostwriting, the only thing that matters is forward progress. (Except for smooth prose, coherent storytelling, convincing motivation, engaging description and snappy dialogue. Those count too.) By the end of the month, I’ll be emailing the first batch of chapters off to the editing team; they’ll tell me if it needs cutting. Before I do that, I’ll do my own editorial pass, of course, but I’d rather submit too much and have it whittled down than fall short and have to compose extra material in a hurry.
So far, I’ve managed to write fast and hard, which has meant skimming over the surface of the narrative like a stone over a pond. I think I’m hitting all the right beats, but I’m rarely thinking about the book when I’m not working on it. To some extent, that’s how the ghostwriter has to live: there simply isn’t time to get involved.
However … I’m only human. So I can’t help but get caught up in the lives of these characters. It’s starting to happen. I can feel it. Slowly but surely, the story is sucking me in. Soon, just skimming over the surface isn’t going to be enough. Soon, I’ll be going in. Deep.