Archive for November 16th, 2006

11/15/06: Somewhat sidetracked

Word count: 3754 | Since last entry: 803

No new words on the novel per se in the last three days. I reached the end of chapter 1 (at least, an end) and found that I couldn’t get started on chapter 2. So I dropped back and started outlining — trying to figure out where this thing is really headed. I wrote about 1000 words of outline yesterday — a brief paragraph each on the first 12 chapters (out of about 20). Today I had dinner with a psychologist neighbor and talked about where my main character’s head is at, given her traumatized early life. I’m going to have to scale back the malnutrition (if she wasn’t properly nourished as a child she’ll have some cognitive problems, and I need her brain in one piece if she’s going to be an effective protagonist). Wrote up a couple hundred words of notes on that. None of those words are counted above.

So, though I have been doing novel-related work, I’m about 1200 words behind my pseudo-NaNoWriMo target, and OryCon starts tomorrow so I’m unlikely to catch up. I remind myself that I’m in this (novel writing thing) for the long haul — NaNoWriMo should be just a goad, not a requirement.

In other news, Analog rejected the novella — a long, thoughtful rejection hand-typed by Stan Schmidt that 1) points up a plausibility problem my critique group also had problems with, which I tried to address but apparently did not succeed, and 2) shows that Stan believes his readers don’t want too much of that pesky angst getting in the way of the rivets. I may try Analog again, if the right story should happen, but at this point I think the only way I’m going to sell there is if I consciously decide to shoot for the Analog market and scale the characterization way back. And I’m not sure I want to do that. I’m going to sit on the novella until I hear back from Asimov’s on the story I currently have there, then send it there. I may add a couple-sentence tweak that someone suggested as a way to help address the plausibility problem.

And at my neighborhood Starbucks, Christmas has come down as hard and sudden as a foot of snow overnight. Straight from Halloween to Christmas without even slowing down at Thanksgiving. Bah, humbug. But I don’t want to dig in my heels this year, because in previous years I’ve done that and it’s prevented me from enjoying the holiday (and there are enjoyable aspects to it — I really dig the lights) when its actual time rolled around.