Modest progress on Deciphered

I’m making modest progress on Finnegans Deciphered. By my most recent tally, I’ve written 17,000+ words over six chapters. I guess that’s decent enough, but I’m at that point where I worry that I don’t have enough story to flesh out a novel-length manuscript. I doubt that will be the case, but I guess I need to consider some subplots in keeping with the theme. They can gestate in my mind as I work away at the central story. (Actually, I already have several of these, but they just haven’t come up in the plot yet.)

I’ve also reached the point where I have amassed enough material (and drafts) that I need to be more efficient in my file naming and storage. Some years ago I had a hard drive crash, and I lost most of a different Finnegans novel I was working on at the time. (I think that enough of it was scattered among several emails to myself that I could still resurrect the story, but the whole event was so traumatic that I continue to need some distance from it before I go back to that novel. Plus, it didn’t feel like a very strong work at the time anyway, but that’s a different post for a different day.) So I’ve begun a more consistent file naming convention, and I’ve shunted my other drafts to an archive directory where I can retrieve them should I need to. This way I can move forward without losing anything. I’m less nervous this way.

Finally, I’ve begun giving names to my chapters. I never do this, though I’m not sure why. I guess I’ve always thought that chapter names are either twee or insufficient or they telegraph the story too much. Whatever the reason, I’d never done this before. But I am now, I guess as an experiment. Chapter two, for example is currently titled “In which Greg has a date with history.” Yes, it’s cute, and I may not keep it, but I am trying to imagine someone browsing the book at the store and seeing a teasing sort of progress in the chapter titles, enticing the person to (buy and) read the novel. We’ll see how it goes.

In other news, Larger than Life continues to haunt my creative mind. As I’ve said in recent posts, I have not fully abandoned work on this novel; I certainly continue to make copious notes about it, but I’m reluctant to give up my all-too-few writing opportunities to it when Finnegans Deciphered is now moving along. I guess I need to find a way to steal even more hours from the rest of my life to devote to it.

And then there’s this short story that’s been badgering me to be written. What’s the collective noun for unwritten creative material? An “overflow” of stories? A “bellow” of stories?

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