1 Year, and 80 Days of Writing a Novel


This is when the madness sets in.

Now is the maelstrom in the path.

I wrote last night. I write whenever I can. But if this were a race, I’d have one foot in front of the other, and the finish line would be a horizon, frozen in the distance.

It is October. In all it’s candy-colored-cold-snap glory. The leaves are changing. The hours are falling away from my limbs, and I’ll never get them back. Pretty wasted things on the ground that crunch under the slow pace of my progression.

This is the start of the end of the year. When everything rushes toward the last moment.


You don’t go back, when your writing a story. Anything you wrote before is lost, and you leave it for dead. You run towards the end, trying to throw down enough words behind you to keep the beast from catching up. I don’t know what the beast is. But I know it is there. The monster in the closet. The witch outside the window. Waiting for me to see it, to put my pretty little feet outside the blanket. So I run, and I run, and I hide, and I type everything that happens and try to keep myself from remembering what I’m doing. Because you can’t think about it too much. think about it too much and you’ll fuck up.

So you don’t go back, you don’t touch up the story behind you. You forge on, tip-tapping your little snow-shoe fingers through the blizzard. Unless your stupid. Unless you forget, and get lost. Go forward, don’t stop. If you stop, you’ll see what you did, and you won’t be able to stomach the rest. it’s like murder. Hide the body,and then start crying. Don’t go back.


I got lost. I went back to the beginning.

I spent a whole evening rewriting chapter one. Changing, and playing, and brandishing the sword of revision at those pages. And god damn, but they shone. I left them, naked and wanting more. It took some effort but I forced myself away from that bedroom. 

“Lay with us” said chapter one. “Chapter two is here as well, she’d fancy some attention”

“No, no,” I said, tying my cravat, “I have things that must be doing, and a Mrs. of my own. (but in this case it was more of a MSS. as the manuscript was the only Mrs. that I spoke of) "I’ll be back again, some day, be sure of it!”

“But what of chapter two?! She has all the bits you like!” Chapter one sat up on the mattress, parting her legs enough to keep her robe open. “I’ve got wonderful parts as well”

“I really must be going…” I told her, turning away toward the door. It is true, chapter 2 does have my favorite bits, and chapter three may have the breasts of a elven queen, but if I keep working on the beginning of the book I am sure to drown there.

A sailor in a whirlpool, a boy in a boudoir.


It the air of October. When everything is a thousand possibilities, and the veil between each seems thin and lifted. The end of the year is all downhill, and so is the rest of this manuscript. If I don’t get lost. If I stay the fuck on the path. Writing words and erasing words, and pushing ever onward through the storm. Those first few chapter will still be there, waiting for me to finish. A desperate whorehouse waiting for a writer’s touch.


Todd Rogers