Rounding the bend on 18,000 words in the novel and I've discovered something. My earlier angst about it "going nowhere" is a direct side-effect of writing so much flash. I'd become completely accustomed to wrapping things up in a neat little package (which I'd have done 9 times over by now ...) Instead, it seems to be rolling along quite well under its own steam.
That said, just wrote a horrifying scene of assault. I always feel like an asshole when women get hurt in my stories (non-horror -- in the horror, everyone's fair game). Like someone's going to jump out of the bushes and say "Aha - I KNEW you were an evil misogynistic dick!"
But - the story is what it is, and more than one writer that I respect has passed along the wisdom that if you cheat the story, you cheat the reader. Another one says you know that you're on to something when you start making yourself feel uncomfortable. We'll see. Right now I've managed to write myself sombre.
So - change of subject quickly. Had the reading last night, it was great. I read "Ronnie Wilkins", "Make 'em Cheer" and "Something Different." (That last is a BLAST to read out loud.)
Back to the book. Thanks for reading!