Archive for October, 2003

10/30/03: I don’t want no dissention, just dramatic tension.

Word count: 35922 Over 1800 words tonight! All one scene, in which Clarity is menaced by a mob and has to run for her life. Or does she? She’s not sure, but whether she really had to run or not, she ran, and I’ve left her locked outside on the roof of her apartment building, wondering whether she’s more afraid that someone will find her… or that no one will. A good, tense scene — but way too long. The chapter’s now nearly 6000 words long, already one of the longest chapters I’ve written, and there are still three scenes to go. On the other hand, there’s no reason a chapter can’t be 10,000 or 12,000 words long… but I still think this scene has more words in it than it deserves. I’m going to have to cut it back. But not this week. Right now it’s way past time for bed. Good night.

10/29/03: Still in the Hospital

Word count: 34098 800 more words tonight, finishing up the scene in the hospital. It’s heavy on exposition, but I keep reminding myself this is a first draft. There’s four scenes — at least 1000, maybe 2000, words — left in this chapter. I may have to steal some time from work to finish by Saturday.

10/27/03: Hospital

Word count: 33288 Wrote 500 words of a quiet scene in the hospital with Clarity and Reason. Not as many words as I’d hoped to write tonight, especially since I need to get this chapter finished by Saturday (ideally Thursday). More tomorrow, I hope. I had to send my crashed phone back to the manufacturer to be re-flashed, since nobody local had the necessary equipment. Sigh. Remember when phones were big heavy things you rented from the phone company, and they lasted forever? Things with dials?

10/20/03: RSS

Word count: 32765 Stupidly spent the evening adding permalinks and an RSS feed to this page instead of writing. Silly, silly David. (If you don’t know what RSS is, don’t worry about it. If you do know, please try it out and let me know how it works for you. I’m particularly interested to know if the entry dates are correct in your aggregator. They don’t work on NewsIsFree.) Also, my phone crashed. Grr.

10/8/03: Slogging through

Word count: 29918 I’ve been out of town a lot lately. When I have found a half-hour or an hour to write it’s been so tempting to just massage the existing text and not generate any new words. Something about the last scene of this chapter was just not coming together. And here it is just a few days before the next crit group meeting, when I have to have a new chapter or I’ll have to buy everyone a beer. After some thought I realized this scene needed to be a big turning point for the character. He’s been insufficiently motivated so far, and needed to have a personal experience that would drive home just how badly he needs to be doing what he is doing. Basically, he’s been a dilettante and he really needs to be a committed terrorist. I went back to my researches on why people become terrorists and decided that the aliens had to do something awful to him or someone he knows personally. Unfortunately, all the candidates were people I needed around later for other things. So it couldn’t be fatal or even severely debilitating. But I found a solution (I hope). Rather than a character, I killed a setting. It wasn’t a very important setting, really, but it was something established earlier in the book and I think it’s plausible that the character would care about it more now (now that it’s gone) than he did then. He also got himself involved in a riot afterwards, something I hadn’t planned, which gave me an opportunity to show how nasty things are getting in the streets. After that was done I hit him with the whammy I’ve been saving up all chapter. Now he’s really pissed and has nothing to lose. A very good evening’s writing. In other news, I participated in an “exquisite corpse” writing exercise and dashed off a few paragraphs so “crunchy” they could be the basis of a whole new novel. I am running screaming from the possibility of a whole new novel… I’m already heartily sick of this one. But I press on.