The last two weeks have seen a good, sustained amount of work taking place on the novel, which is really awesome. I am still not quite putting out the weekly word count that I would ideally like, but I am getting there.

Am now deep into the 2nd part of the book. When this is complete, I will be halfway through. I sent the first 12 chapters off to a couple of readers and got some pretty positive responses back. One thing I do know is that from here, I need to kick on with the character and plot development. The world is nicely established.

It’s Joburg, But Not As You Know It
The city itself is turning out to be a bit of a maverick as I go along. My intention has always been to mythologise Johannesburg in a way. I am not sure that has started to happen as yet, but the city I refer to is not always exactly the one that people mostly experience.

One thing I have realised is that I hadn’t decided ahead of time HOW precisely I wish to locate happenings in terms of suburb and street names, coffee shops etc…. But I have decided not to worry about that just yet as that can be fixed easily enough during the 2nd draft phase. I would be interested to hear what people think though: precise locations or slightly fictitious approximations?

Character Developing Life
One or two of the characters are coming nicely into focus, especially in my own head. In fact they keep arm wrestling the others to keep popping up. Which is kinda cool and weird. After all the planning I did to get to his stage, it’s nice to see the spontaneity has not been extinguished. Keeps it interesting.

My ideas are also shifting and twitching under the scrutiny of daily writing. My temporary current preoccupations weave their way into characters mouth and other characters oppose and debunk them. I guess it’s kinda like fighting with yourself. Ooops!

Road Ahead
I actually want to try and lift my output significantly so that I can have part 2 finished by the time I leave Bloem. This is going to require significantly more work than I am currently doing, but I think it is doable! I might need to tweak my morning routine a bit though…

I’ll leave you with some Andrew angst. This guy should really get a therapist

“Looking around this pristine white room, I don’t see an array of happy faces. Just faces that are made up and held in a very particular shape. Like clones pressed out of a drone factory round one of these leafy corners. Has their money set them free? No. Their minds remain trapped. As does mine.

So what is it I want? I look down at the over sized muffin in my hand. It’s expensive, but I don’t mind buying it. It has value to me. It is basically a lunch in a muffin. Cheese, peppers, good stuff. Filling. The coffee is strong and kicks. I see value here. What value do I see in money? I look back up at the people around me. I see no value for them in their lives. I just see quiet misery and desperation. A sense of being trapped by choices made so long ago they no longer identify with the chain of logic that brought them here.”