Word count: 22191 I’ve been writing 300-600 words a night, most nights, for the past week. It feels like so little, but I look up and, hey, 2000 words. Cool. With luck I’ll crack 3000 words before next Saturday, which will let me do my copying at work and give me time to do my crits and write a synopsis of the chapters so far. The attention I’ve been paying to the word count makes it seem that I’m just grinding out sausage. I really am paying attention to the content, honest; I’ve rewritten the opening of one scene three times. A lot of what I’ve written this week feels flat, I’m afraid, but I don’t think it’s either possible or beneficial to maintain a short-story level of prose craft for an entire novel, and I can tighten it some in rewrite. There’s just so much to it! A hundred thousand words is a typical novel these days. In my entire writing career so far, about four years, I’ve written about 150,000 words (I just added it up and was surprised it’s so many!). I’m trying to write two-thirds of that in less than one year. So I have to keep my focus on producing draft in order to reach the end. Went to Seattle for the Clarion West end-of-week-5 party last Friday, at Jerry and Suzle’s with instructor Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and was just overwhelmed at the number of keen people there. To my surprise about half of the Tor editorial staff and several out-of-town writers also happened to be there, so I spent a lot of time schmoozing as well as chatting with old friends and new. Fun. Today is the Hugo voting deadline, so my Campbell Award fate will shortly be sealed, though I won’t learn the results until Labor Day. I’m not holding out a lot of hope for a win (I’m dead last in Sci-Fi Weekly’s straw poll), but It’s An Honor Just To Be Nominated. And I’m still eligible next year!
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.