I am getting close to finishing my novel, the first draft anyway. I am nearly at the end of chapter 20, which took some unexpected turns, refusing to follow my outline. It still shows the main character's state of mind as he approaches the climax, and that was the main purpose of the chapter, but it also introduced some unexpected elements that further complicate the climax.
While walking today I spent much of the time scribbling notes as I wandered along, for the next chapter. I am still excited when writing this novel, it's just getting myself to make the time to write. It is now 94,000 words, with an estimated 10,000 still to go.
My critiquing efforts are not looking good, so perhaps I should just give it a rest for a while because I never seem to make the time to do it. Conversely, I am reading more. I enjoyed reading a twelve year old copy of Analog, whose stories still seemed fresh and original to me. Analog is my favourite speculative fiction magazine because unlike many magazines that publish science fiction it is strictly science-fiction, most others also publish fantasy, which to me rarely works in the short story format. Another reason I like Analog is that most of its stories are over 5000 words, so there are enough words to create the world the story is set in and for the reader to get involved in the story. I will write a review of the edition I read later in the week.
I also made time this week to read a few of my favourite blogs on writing, which always helps make me feel like I am part of the writing community.