Magical Crime Scene Investigation “Kids Today” :: 1st draft, 4,562 words

That’s the first week of 2018 done, then!

Weekly writing journal

One of my goals for 2018 is to write 1,000 words per day more often than I don’t, and so far… I suck!

Monday to Saturday, I didn’t write any words at all. I’m chalking it up to exhaustion, day-job anxiety and that old-fashioned fear of writing.

But even when I don’ t get anything done during the week, Sunday is always my best writing day. And today was an awesome day!

…even though trusty French Press is completely bollocksed up and I had to pull my old drip machine out of retirement, it was an awesome day!

MCSI: Kids Today progress

MCSI: Kids Today — my submission for Otter Libris’ MCSI: Magical Crime Scene Investigation anthology — is going pretty well!

I’m 4,562 words in, and the first draft is about done. There are some huge gaps, but there’s a framework of a story from the beginning to the end.

MCSI: Kids Today / 4,562 words / 2018-01-07 at 16.11.52

I’ve created a sheet for each beat of a fall arc, and allotted myself no more than 1,000 words per beat. Right now, the first pinch point and the climax have gone slightly over-budget, but I reckon they’ll be pulled back in the edit.

In fact, I’m going to call that first draft done. It’s a bit cheeky — with those holes and all — but my next step is to go back to the beginning and start a pass of revision and gap-filling.

Yeah, but…

I’ve got some pretty big fears about the story. I know there’s a good idea in there somewhere, but I’m not convinced I’ve got it yet.

It’s a story of a character’s downfall, and the protagonist is… well, he’s pretty despicable. I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if the reader could empathise at all, and that’ll be a challenge for a later revision. If anyone’s supposed to be likeable then it’s the antagonist, but we don’t meet her until half-way through, and even she acts selfishly and above the law.

Urgh. Right now, it feels like a very unlikeable story.

I’m also a bit worried that the “crime” in the story is more of a “personal injustice” which is being investigated, rather than strictly a criminal act being investigated by law enforcement. Actually — spoiler alert — there are several “crimes” committed in the story; only some are “criminal” and only some are “investigated”. There’s a very good chance that this story fits the brief way too loosely, and I’m just wasting my time.

I don’t know. I don’t know.

I’m hardly overflowing with confidence here, but let’s see how it goes.

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