Word count: 17219 Just got back from a weekend at the Oregon Writers Colony’s Colonyhouse at the Oregon Coast. Spent the whole time writing, apart from meals and one walk on the beach. Finished Chapter 2 and wrote the entirety of Chapter B (I think… it feels a little short, but it does cover everything in the outline) for a total of over 4000 new words! I had been hoping for 5000 words but I think that was unrealistic. New material includes the death of Vigor, a breakthrough by Jason, a shooting scene using info from my shoot-out a couple weeks ago, and a really steamy seduction scene. Interesting note: on Saturday, between lunch and dinner (3 hours) I wrote 1000 words. Between dinner and bed (also 3 hours) I wrote over 2000 words. Also, the 2000 words were more fun to write and feel like much better writing than the 1000 words. The difference? The 2000 words included a key scene that I have been reviewing in my head for months; the 1000 words I wrote in the afternoon were all material I hadn’t thought through in detail and I was making it up as I went along. This puts me in mind of a favorite Shoe cartoon, in which little Skyler says to his uncle Cosmo “You’re a writer. Shouldn’t you be pounding the keyboard instead of staring out the window?” Cosmo responds: “Typists pound keyboards. Writers stare out windows.” I think I need to spend a little more time staring out the window. (Of course, when I tried this at the coast I fell asleep. But the principle is sound.)
David D. Levine is the author of Andre Norton Nebula Award winning novel Arabella of Mars, sequels Arabella and the Battle of Venus and Arabella the Traitor of Mars, and over fifty SF and fantasy stories. His story “Tk’Tk’Tk” won the Hugo, and he has been shortlisted for awards including the Hugo, Nebula, Campbell, and Sturgeon. Stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Analog, Clarkesworld, F&SF, Tor.com, numerous Year’s Best anthologies, and his award-winning collection Space Magic.