Word count: 19649 Nearly a thousand words today, still on track to hit my target of 20,000 words by the end of this week (though I would really like to finish the current chapter this week, which would result in a total of around 21,000 or 22,000 words). Also critiqued two novel segments this week, and got a couple of short story ideas. All of my writing today has been in two transitional scenes following Vigor’s funeral. Not much happens in these scenes, but we learn about what has been happening while Clarity was busy with the funeral and following wake. I’m a little concerned that things are moving too rapidly, but paradoxically not enough is happening… specifically, that Clarity is not taking enough action. I have something in mind for her for later in this chapter, though. But first, there’ll be another scene of blood and pain to drive home just how bad the situation is becoming. I keep tweaking the body count. Dozens? Hundreds? The outline says thousands at this point, but that doesn’t feel appropriate now. I think this reduction is OK, because slowing the progress of the plague now may give Clarity more to do in later chapters where her outline is currently rather thin. No repercussions yet from Clarity’s outburst at the funeral. Maybe this is a mistake, or maybe it will increase the stress to keep that hanging over her head (she is, at least, keenly aware that it is there). I keep telling myself this is a first draft — in the words of someone I met at Wiscon, you have to make cookie dough before you can bake cookies, and you have to write a draft before you can edit it into a finished novel. So I’m making cookie dough, and it’s OK if it’s half-baked (or even unbaked).
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.