Word count: 45058 | Since last entry: 1064 | This month: 12940 The weekend started off well, with 700+ words written while Kate took a spell at the wheel, and I managed another couple hundred words on Friday. But I haven’t written a thing since then. Despite that, I’m happy with my Not Really National Novel Writing Month. The nearly 13,000 words I wrote in November is significantly better than the 10,500 I wrote for the Pseudo-NaNoWriMo back in March, and I’m nearly to the midpoint of the novel. The Jupiter story stands at 3800 words, with the final complication in place and only the setup for the climax and the climax itself to go. It will probably be about 4500 words when I finish the first draft, but I have some ideas of things I can cut. (It’s important that it be short because I’m trying to squeeze into an anthology that is probably already full.) I also want to rewrite part of a scene I finished earlier, to better establish the main character’s priorities and make the climax more plausible. Still hope to finish the story this week.
Archive for September 13th, 2004
Word count: 32765 Just back from a writing weekend at the coast, at the delightful Oregon Writers Colony house with a bunch of other Oregon and Washington writers (Jerry, Kathy, Paulette, Amy, Susan, Jim, and Brenda). Only (?) wrote about 2800 new words, but that includes a half-day re-outlining the current chapter and was about the same word count as everyone else did. The new outline wound up almost exactly like the old one, but where the old one was vague (“things get worse”) the new one is a list of specific incidents (“Clarity’s best childhood friend comes down with the plague”). This is part of that staring-out-windows thing that is so important to fiction writing and I don’t regret it. Apart from the writing, spent a great weekend with a bunch of keen folks. I cooked spaghetti sauce (half buffalo, half hot Italian sausage, all delicious) for Saturday dinner, Amy made a killer chocolate mousse, and each person brought enough food for everyone (we had a total of three pounds of bacon and three and a half dozen eggs for eight people for a weekend — definite overkill in the food department, but better too much than too little). The weather was nice, warm on Saturday and a little drizzly on Sunday, but as is my Colonyhouse habit I didn’t leave the house at all. When I go to the coast to write, I write — or at least hang out with writers. Much writerly gossip was gossiped, and the problems of the world were solved. Fun, relaxing, productive. I want to do this again in a few months. Oh, I ought to note this major milestone: I just passed 30,000 words, which was my goal for the first month’s writing when I did the Pseudo-NaNoWriMo back in March. Okay, it took longer than I had thought. But it’s still significant; I’m about 1/3 done with the first draft. When I got home I found a nice rejection from Ellen Datlow at scifi.com. “It’s very nicely written but there just isn’t enough to it for my taste. Sorry. I do like your work and trust that one of these days we’ll connect so keep on sending stories to me.” Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, as my dad always says.
Word count: 26872 A couple hundred words here, a couple hundred words there. Progress, but not enough. It’s a slog. I’ve introduced Flea and shown Jason making some progress on cracking the alien computer. It feels slow. I hope to have this chapter ready to send to my crit group this weekend. In other news, I just got a keen new “phone”. I put “phone” in quotes because being a phone seems to be the least of its powers. It’s a wireless web browser, email client, calendar, to-do list, calculator, currency converter, GameBoy, and MP3 player too. Maybe more. The manufacturer is pushing it as “the Music Phone” but I bought it for the keyboard, which is terribly cute but reasonably functional. Now I can Google from anywhere, mwa hah hah! Well, almost anywhere — alas, it has almost no signal in my office.
Word count: 24262 Okay, I took a week off to do a new issue of Bento. That’s excusable. But the following week of no novel-writing isn’t. And when I sat down to work tonight, I kept getting up again. But I promised myself I wouldn’t go to bed without at least 500 new words, and I did manage that: the beginning of a gutwrenching argument between Jason and Chris. I’m really putting Jason’s nuts in a vise here, and he deserves every bit of it. More this weekend. I still hope to get 3000 words down before next weekend’s critique group meeting… which will be while I’m at Torcon, but I’m still going to treat it as a deadline. I also got galleys and a cover flat from New Voices in Science Fiction. I like the cover.
Word count: 12326 No new writing lately, but last weekend I went shooting with some folks from the Portland Cacophony Society. It’s the first time I’ve ever fired a gun. I can definitely see the appeal, but I still think it’s generally not a good idea to keep guns around the house. Unlike most other dangerous tools, guns are very easy to use and can kill at a distance. Politics aside, I had a great time. We had marvelous weather for a drive in the country, and I had fun shooting at various old appliances, stuffed animals, and old propane tanks, even though I couldn’t hit a thing. And I picked up a lot of terminology, sounds, and smells I will be able to use if any gunplay occurs in the novel. There isn’t any in the outline, but the character of Sienna is shaping up into someone who, given the choice, would rather shoot than ask questions. Oh, and I’ve gotten over whatever minor bug was bothering me earlier this week.
Word count: 8676 Wrote a thousand words today, and returned a bunch of library books, and did grocery shopping. Go me! Nice tense scene with Jason and Sienna, introducing Jason’s previous relationship with Clarity, and getting them out of Seattle, hurrah. Much puzzling with the Washington gazetteer trying to find a location close to Seattle that won’t have cell service in 2051; wound up with Bessemer Mountain. Also introduced minor character Chopper. Chopper is a gunsmith and I need to do some research on guns, maybe even do some shooting myself. I mentioned that I am participating in the sff.writing.novel-dare PseudoNaNoWriMo, to write 30,000 words in March. To motivate myself I drew up a big thermometer (the PseuDoNaNoWriMoTherMo) with marks from 0 to 30k and I’m coloring it in as I go. It’s posted on the wall opposite my comfy writing chair. At this point the goal of 30k words seems well out of reach, but I’m probably going to keep the TherMo posted until I reach that milestone.