The great 80s punk band Minutemen from San Pedro, CA had a wonderful motto: “we jam econo.” Tight playing, minimalist lyrics, dispensing with frivolous musical wankery. Economical writing, playing and touring, in other words. Their songs rarely hit the two minute mark; many were even under the one minute mark. [Despite the brevity of their songs, they state their name was actually making fun of the 60s rightwing fringe group of the same name.]
I wrote Meet the Lidwells with the same idea in mind; after the sprawl of the trilogy, I wanted to ‘write econo’ — dispense with as much subplotting as I could, tighter writing, constantly pushing the story along. As of this post, I’m writing the last chapter of the first draft. It looks like I may even complete the novel within the next week or so.
I started it on 28 April (not including a few weeks’ worth of outlining on index cards, as well as outtakes on 750 Words), and if I end it by the end of October, that’ll be exactly six months. Its word count is around 75k, and by the time I revise it, it’ll probably be just a little higher. If I play my cards right I might even be able to have it up on Smashwords and Amazon by the end of the year.
Those are new records for me, I think.
As I’ve said before, one of the reasons I wanted to try writing econo is to see if I could do it. And if that worked out, then maybe I could continue with it. I love writing sprawling genre fiction, don’t get me wrong…just that sprawl doesn’t always work with some of my ideas. [Another reason of course was that after working on the trilogy for so damn long, I wanted to work on shorter, quicker projects where I could turn it around in a year or less.] Sure, I did waste some time in between with distraction and procrastination, but still…six months ain’t bad at all.
I still have to revise Meet the Lidwells once I’m done with it, but at this point I’m thrilled that I was able to pull this off as quickly and as smoothly as I have.