Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Now What?

S0 I couldn't stand it any longer and sat down to rewrite the ending. Not a big revision, just a couple hundred extra words to tie up the loose ends with two major characters, one of them the big villain.

Now I don't know what to do with myself. I haven't played City of Heroes in so long, I've almost forgotten how. I don't want to do any more rewriting until I've let the book sit a while. I don't have any story ideas that are just begging to be written. I guess I could try to read a few books; haven't read a novel in who knows how long? I can't think of hte last one I've read, other than my friend's manuscripts. Maybe "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." That was in July.

Wow. What should I read, I wonder?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Mental Seesaw

I should quit obsessing over what's done for now, but I realize that the book has quite a few glaring weaknesses that need fixing. In addition to what I've mentioned before, there is a bit after the end of the second act that I rushed through because I was afraid of losing the audience while I wallowed in the characters' grief. Now I think I should wallow at least a bit more, for the reader's sake. Things that seem to stretch out intolerably long while I'm writing them sometimes flash past very quickly when I'm reading.

But the biggest problem is the ending. The ending for Digger is fine, I think, and one of the villains gets what's coming to him, but the other really doesn't, because I couldn't figure out just what might be needed in his case. I think I've got it figured out now (a little too late, considering some first readers already have the manuscript, but oh well).

The issue now is how long to let it sit before I try to revise, or do I go ahead and jump into the scenes that I know how to fix right away.

I don't know. I'm very tired.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Structural Thoughts

I wrote an essay a while back that I printed on my old site about my problem revising what I've written. My basic thesis was that once I finish laying out a story, or writing the first draft, the thing sets in my mind like concrete and I have major problems trying to change anything after that. I might make minor revisions, change a detail here and there, add a bridging scene or remove one, but as far as reimagining large parts of the story, it just doesn't happen.

So after I finished the first draft of Hero Go Home on Saturday and read it yesterday, today I find myself making notes about things I want to fix, and damned if I'm not considering some major changes, especially in Act I.

Because Act I is the weakest, really. I wrote it all, with the exception of a few scenes added later, in the first 8 days of November, so I really rushed through it and avoided scenes and ideas that I thought would be too complicated or add too much length. Now the book is really lopsided; Act I is less than a quarter of the book's full length, while Act III is almost half.

And most of what's in Act I is dialogue scenes--pages and pages of dialogue. I've worried before about the talky beginning, and let me tell you: it actually works pretty well. The dialogue scenes aren't boring, and they're really important to let us get to know the main characters. But the middle of Act I could use some fleshing out (and serendipitously, I need to flesh it out to bring it more in line with Baen's word-length preferences for novels), and the emotional arcs could be sharper.

I'd really like to sit down and discuss this with some smart writers to help me break the story a bit and make sure I've got a good plan for fixing the structure of Act I. Act II needs to be sharpened a bit, too, especially in the first half, but I haven't gotten to the point where I'm ready to take it on. But over the next few days, I'll get some ideas together.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

So I Lied

At 5 a.m., I said it might be week before I looked at it. So of course, by 9 or so, I was reading the ending I wrote last night, and by noon, I was starting the damn thing from the beginning. Read it all the way through.

My initial thoughts: wow, it's messy. Lots of typos, even in sections I've gone over several times. LOTS of continuity errors, some because I changed my mind and had a better idea later (as is the case with a particular villain bit), some because I just forgot I'd already mentioned something earlier (e.g., the name of a minor character that changes without warning). A few talky digressions, but most of them aren't as bad as I feared. Several characters just drop off the map without warning, some of them major, and I need to make room for some kind of closure for them.

On the good side, I think it has a lot of promise. Some good dialogue, nice rhythms, interesting and unusual characters, some neat twists that aren't telegraphed too much, I don't think. I was kind of worried going in whether I would be able to create big enough action setpieces to make the story seem spectacular, but I think I outdid myself on that score. Not only that, but toward the end there, I even started to get in some emotional resonance, and even some genuflection toward a theme, which just freaking amazes me.

I'm really surprised by how much it depends on backstory, because that's usually one of my biggest weaknesses: characters who seem to exist almost exclusively in the now, never thinking about their pasts because they just don't have them. But like Tolkien, I've had some of these characters spinning in my head for as long as twenty-five years, so they have built up a history in my heart. Add that to the fact that the novel draws from all three Digger short stories and an aborted novel about one of the main villains (who was originally intended to be a hero, but then , all villains think they're the heroes of their own stories, don't they?), and you have quite a deep foundation to build on.

So overall, I think I wrote something that's going to take a LOT of work to clean up, but I think I managed to write something that will be worth the work it takes to clean up, if that makes any sense. So I'm generally pretty happy right now.

Saturday night is not partiable, so I'm looking at Tuesday, because I'm off the next day. Then again, I'm thinking about going to grab a beer right now, just because I'm basking in the afterglow.

What now?

A Few More Words

A little more detail: I promised my self it would be done yesterday, and I worked for something like six hours making it so. Remember when I said it wouldn't be 85,000?

It's 85,000.

Which means I just milked the bejeezus out of the climax. And I guess in a first draft, it's good not to be afraid to do that. It's crazy and over-the-top, but fun, I hope. I'm afraid to even look at it for a while. Seriously. Some people I trust want to look at it, but as for me, it may be a week or more before I take the plunge. I had too much fun writing it toward the end there, so it must be bad.

EDIT: Okay, I took a peek, and... It's really messy, but seems to hang together. The big problem is that I let so many characters just kind of drop out here and there and never come back. Need to tie up more of the loose ends.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

One Word


Friday, May 26, 2006

Barring Disaster, I Finish Tomorrow

I set myself two goals when I gave myself the big challenge last month: to write at least 80,000 words, and to finish the story. Tomorrow, I should achieve both of those goals. I'm within 1,000 words of my numerical target, although I may be as many as 5,000 away from actually finishing the story (my guess is closer to 3,000). Either way, I'm close enough and motivated enough that by this time tomorrow, I should have typed "The End" to a novel draft for only the second time in my life (I don't count the other manuscript that I tacked a quickie ending on, because I wrote it longhand and never finished transcribing it into the computer).

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
79,000 / 80,000

You'll know if I do it.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Buckling Down

It's funny. The huge momentum I thought I'd have is not manifesting in long writing stretches where I do 4-5-6000 words at a time. Partly that's a function of the time restrictions I'm working under, catching what writing I can when I can (for instance, I may have written as much as 2,000 words today in various pieces, but the official count has not moved because it's mostly in longhand and I haven't integrated it into the official MS yet).

And it's also a function of the complexity and scale of the climax. I think I mentioned that the climax is more streamlined than the Act II close in a lot of ways, but I still have to make sure all the pieces are advancing in the right order, and that each cutscene has more content to it than just a straight listing of punches and kicks. I've got to hit crisis points for all of my simultaneous subplots, then resolve them all in the right order, and it's tricky.

So I'm not churning out tons of words at blazing speed. However, I am doing easily a thousand words a day, often more, and when I stop writing, I'm sort of previzzing future scenes in my head. I have almost everything worked out completely between here and the end of the book. Now all that remains is to find the exact words and get 'em into type.

It may be done tomorrow. If not, it will almost certainly be done Saturday. After that, all that remains is to find some first readers who don't mind reading a messy draft with lots of holes, and schedule the party I promised (probably Saturday, June 3, although no one really seems too enthused over the prospect, so I'm not sure the shape the celebtration might take if I'm alone).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

What The Hell Is Up With This?

Well, the SAT bug (Sluggish, Achy and Tired) has burned through my family, and luckily, it's only a one-day thing. I'm feeling fine today. Had the day off, went to my daughter's kindergarten graduation, which...

You know, it was a neat deal and all, but are they going to give them diplomas for every grade? I hope not.

Anyway, after that, I went to the office and wrote for a while. Here's the counter (thought I'd try blue this time):

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
76,000 / 80,000

But here's the thing that bugs me--here I am, literally a stone's throw from the ending, right smack in the middle of the big action climax, a climax, might I add, that is not only probably the coolest thing I've ever written, but is much, much cooler than I even imagined it would be when I first conceived this project going on fifteen years ago.

So why, why am I choosing now of all times to start worrying that the book has no overall arc? I mean, it does, in a sense;there is a sequence of causation from the beginning of the book to the end. And being adventure fiction (and something leaning toward serial adventure fiction at that), you don't expect the same kind of dramatic unity and character growth that you'd see in a literary novel.

But I worry that when people read it, they'll just see what the Turkey City Lexicon calls an 'And Plot.' This happens, then that happens, then another thing happens, and it all adds up to a whole lot of hullaballoo over nothin'. I mean, I'm already taking a risk with a Deus ex Machina.

I just hate it that I'm letting my buzz over finishing what could be a very entertaining story be diluted by my fear that I'm writing the novel equivalent of "Attack of the Clones"--a ton of cool effects and scenes in the service of a 'meh' story.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Look What I Got

Didn't feel well today. Sluggish, achy and tired. Couldn't tell if it was a delayed onset soreness from the rally hard workout Saturday, or a symptom of carbohydrate depletion, or fatigue from only averaging four hour of sleep the last couple of nights, or maybe I was catching whatever my wife had last night (which IIRC was basically, "Sluggish, achy and tired").

So I cut out of work a couple of hours early, dropped by the office and tried to nap for an hour. Followed that with an hour of writing, then came home and did this, finally.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
74,000 / 80,000

Great momentum right now. I have no idea what I'll do with myself once this is over, though. Maybe try to write a short story for this quarter's WoTF. Time's running out to submit, and I really don't have anything decent in the files.

Monday, May 22, 2006

7K to Go

Short post, just to say that I got a little work done tonight. The official count: 73,000 words. What's left: 7,000 words in nine days. For all I know, I 'll finish by Saturday. Hell, for all I know, I'll finish by this time tomorrow, if I go really crazy.

And of course, the day after I opine that I may be essentially done with Digger after this book, I come up with a scene that practically begs for a sequel...

Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

We're Cookin' With Gas Now, Baby

After diddling and dawdling all week, I finally sat down tonight and pounded out about 3,000 words, then I came home and didn't feel like quitting, so I wrote maybe 800-1,000 more. The official count now stands at 70,000. I have to do 10,000 in 10 days. Yes, I've wasted enough time to get back up to a K a day, although when I add in the extra bit I did tonight, the numbers will change in my favor.

The important thing is that we're into the big finale. All the major players have converged in one spot; the dominoes are falling, and all that is left is to ring that cowbell till it can't ring no more.

I got a fever! And the only cure... is more cowbell!

In other news, Baen's Universe finally sent me the copyedits to "Astromonkeys!" It's only ten days till official publication (and like a full month and a half after Matt got his, and he's not even in the first issue). I think they could have held onto it for another couple of days.

Know what, though? They got 'em to me, I got 'em back to them, and everybody's happy. Come May 31st, I'll be writing "The End" on my manuscript, and come June 1st, the original story goes live, and maybe my life changes. Because I really hope lots of people read this story and like it and ask the good folks at Baen for more. It won't win a Hugo or a Nebula, and it wasn't intended to. It was intended to entertain, and so far, the reaction is good, but I want it to be really good.

Because I want to sell more. Baen already has one sequel they're considering. Agog's still talking about publishing "Out of His League," but if they let it drop, I could shop it to Baen, as well.

I don't know how much Digger I'll have left in me after the novel's done, but I've got at least two more story ideas I'm toying with, and there are lots of interesting spaces in Digger's life that the novel has uncovered. If there's money in it, I'm sure I'll get around to exploring more of them someday.

It's almost midnight, and I have to get up before 5 a.m. for work, and I'm so giddy right now, I don't know if I'll be able to sleep at all tonight. Life's so great, it sucks!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Stuff That Makes Me Laugh

I know, I'm supposed to be shocked, simply shocked, at what happened to these poor art students, but I just find it funny. Here's the short version: students at an art college mounted an exhibition in a war memorial. Some of the artwork was deemed offensive, and the head of the Parks Department closed the exhibit on Thursday. On Monday, the artwork was moved out of the memorial, damaging much of it.

What happened between Thursday and Monday, you might ask? Basically, the college decided to move the exhibit, and the students threw a fit. They demanded that the exhibit be reopened where it was (or in a better location, though I'm pretty sure any alternative other than, say, Grand Central Station would have been pooh-poohed), threatening lawsuits and crying that their First Amendment rights were being breached. Instead of admitting that yeah, some of the art was in bad taste and not perhaps appropriate for display in a public park war memorial, instead of looking for a compromise that would allow them to move their precious penis sculptures and piles of pins-and-foam in a way that would keep them in one piece, they refused to budge and learned a hard lesson.

Which is: Art does not trump all. There is a growing attitude, especially among young people, that the purpose of art is to confront, to oppose, to shock. If it doesn't offend anybody, the idea goes, it ain't art. But when somebody's helping you out by giving you free exhibition space, you don't piss in their house and then pitch a fit when they clean it up.Your rights to free expression don't trump my right to visit a war memorial without having penises shoved in my face.

And the best part, the very best part, the part which made me laugh out freaking loud when I read it, was this:

Marni Kotak could not find over 10 original drawings, the video documentation of her live performance at the show opening, and most of the elements of her 10’ x 20’ site-specific installation. She found two chalkboard drawings irreparably destroyed. Tamas Veszi could not find his entire site-specific installation, and could only find two damaged paintings and three destroyed sculptures. Neither Fucile, Kotak nor Veszi were allowed to adequately document their site-specific works prior to their demolition.

Do you see? I added some bold emphasis to highlight the part that caught my eye. Do you see why I'm laughing here? She did the drawings on chalkboards. They were meant to be erased. Now, granted, part of the reason was to fit the "school" theme of her entire piece, but even the entire piece was "site-specific." Which means what?

Which means it was meant to be torn down when the exhibition ended. It was all a big meta-statement about the transitory nature of art, or some such such drivel. And what is her big complaint? That she couldn't "properly document" it. Which means what?

Which means that she couldn't take pictures to have a permanent record of her "transitory" artwork. She got bit by her own artistic statement. She tried to circumvent it, and karma kicked her in the ass. You can't make this stuff up.

In other news, I'm still way behind on word count on the novel, but Lost kicked ass on Wednesday and I'm officially in ketosis due to the low-carb thing. Which means what?

Which means it's working. Bad breath, pissing like a racehorse, down 5 pounds since last week. Yeah, a lot of it is water weight, but I don't feel nearly as bloated as I used to and my clothes are starting to fit better. And I'm eating more vegetables now than I was before, so net-net, my diet is healthier. Yeah, in three months or so, I'll be back to eating pizza and french fries and my weight will bounce back up, but over the summer, I'll look good.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Low Carb Madness

So I mentioned I've started working out again. Last time I was working out regularly, I did P90X, which was a killer: six workouts a week, all between an hour and 90 minutes long. But I didn't get the results I wanted, because I didn't change my diet.

This time, I'm not working out regularly, but I've changed my diet. I've started low-carbing. I've done it before and gotten decent results, although it was tough to stick with it, because I couldn't get enough variety in my vegetables. Everything started tasting pretty much the same, and I got really sick of salads. Plus, it was hard to eat out, because nobody offered low-carb alternative meals.

It's easier this time. I've got a better idea of what works for me and what doesn't. I've bought some salad-style vegetables, but also quite a bit of kimchi and other Asian pickled vegetables. My family doesn't like the smell, but I love the taste. And I'm eating low-carb meals at the different fast food places I eat at for lunch. It gets on my nerves, because the low-carb alternatives cost one to two dollars more on average. But at the same time, I'm not as hungry, so I'm saving on snacks. So I guess it's a wash on that score.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Real Writers

Found on deborahb's blog:

...there is still that element in society (let's call them 'jerks') who insist a writer is someone -- and only someone -- who writes every day...

Read the whole thing, and the links, if you're of a mind to. The thing is, I've had the same experience, sitting in some panel discussion with a few pro writers about "How to Become a Pro." And eventually one of them would say something like, "the biggest thing I've learned is that you have to write every day. I write every day. I have to; it's as necessary to me as breathing. And if you don't have that level of compulsive need, to write every day, all the time, you'll never make it as a writer."

And here I am, Young Mister Nobody sitting in the audience, hoping to learn something of value. I've got a way with words, I enjoy putting them on paper sometimes, I've got some stories I'd like to tell. And I'm told, basically, that because I have a life off the page, I can never truly write.

And a part of me wants to jump up and yell, "Bullshit, sez I!" But I don't, partly because at that tender age I don't cuss yet, and partly because she's the pro writer and I'm just the wanna-be kid in the audience, so between the two of us, her words carry the more weight.

And I'd like to say that I held strong and true to my own principles and didn't let such discouragements stand in my way but the fact is, between my own insecurities and blanket statements like the one above, I didn't try to submit anything I wrote until well after I'd dropped out of college. And when I didn't experience instant success, I took that as validation of what the Panel Pros had said, and didn't try to submit again for the better part of ten years. I was told in my sophomore year of high school, at age 15, that I had the potential to become a writer. I didn't get the courage to submit on a regular basis until I was 40. That's 25 years I wasted, wondering whether my lack of obsession/compulsion would disqualify me from ever being a "real" writer.

Not that I didn't write during those years. I did. I just didn't share what I wrote with others, except very rarely. And even when I got good positive feedback from friends, and from professionals like Mike McQuay, I still didn't believe, still didn't submit, still didn't push forward.

And now here I am, with my first story on the verge of official publication (although it's been online in an advance reader's copy for months), and now, NOW FINALLY, somebody else steps forward and says, "You know what? It's okay not to write everyday. It's not required."

Thanks a lot.

On the other hand, I haven't touched Hero Go Home at all in a couple of days, and the deadline is looming, so writing every day is exactly what is required right now, for at least two weeks.

And then I rest.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Weekend Stasis

The weekend was not jam-packed busy (as evidenced by the fact that I was able to hit my 200 book limit on LibraryThing), but the events were spaced out just perfectly to keep me from being able to do any concentrated work on the book. Friday night, OSFW meeting. Saturday morning, T-Ball practice. Saturday afternoon, birthday party, followed by work until ten.

Sunday morning, Mother's Day gift presentation, then the family left for church and I had some peace and quiet. I puttered around a bit, catalogued some books, got some lunch and went to the office. I wrote for about ten minutes and got the call: "We're having company over for late lunch. You need to come home." So I wrap up writing, drive home and play host. Early evening, I start to work out, thinking about sneaking back out to the office after the workout's done. The Wife happens to see me working out and says, "Did you decide to skip Survivor?" Doh! The season finale. I hate the fact that they move the finale to Sunday nights.

So even though I had high hopes of getting big momentum and hitting maybe 70K, the count is only 67,000. 13,000 left to write, 16 days in which to do it.

And it appears that people are already being informed about their stories' outcomes in Writers of the Future. They say in their e-mail that it will take about eight to ten weeks to receive word of your story's fate. Last time I entered, it was more like 13-14 weeks before I received word. But at Friday night's OSFW meeting, one of our members said she had received notice that her story had made quarter-finalist, and it's only been six weeks since the end of the quarter. Perhaps they just had an extraordinarily low story turnout this quarter. K.D. Wentworth told me to write in and ask for an update on my entry, but I think I'll wait at least until the ten weeks are up, since that was teh guideline we were given.

It's kind of weird being up in the air like this. On the one hand, I feel as if I've been swept under the rug and forgotten. On the other, maybe it's because I'm still in the running, as in semi-finalist or even finalist. As long as I don't ask, I won't know for sure that I'm out of it.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

A New Time Waster

I got turned on to LibraryThing through a link on one of Matt's friends' blogs. It's really easy to use, and fun to see what I've got, and how obscure most of it is. It allows you to search on either Amazon or Library of Congress or some other libraries, and add the books to your own personal collection. If you get it through Amazon, there's a good chance it'll have a cover graphic with it. It not only displays information about your books, but you can add tags like Flickr, and you can see how many other LibraryThing users share the books in your collection. I've only added a little over a hundred so far (and if I want to add more than 200, I have to pay), and I've found out that no one else has a copy of Blue Falcon (big surprise), and three people have ten of the same 104 books that I've entered. Looking at the books we have in common, I find that all three of them display the same SF/Fantasy/Comics/Movie-related interests that I do, but also (and this really was a surprise), two of them also had The Frugal Gourmet. A popular book among guys who can't cook but want to learn, I guess.

Because let me say this about Jeff Smith. He may have gotten overhyped. He may have made mistakes in his cooking, and some of his recipes really didn't work out that well. But he was the guy that got me cooking for the first time, because he basically said, "It's not about knowing a bunch of technical terms and getting all the measurements right and sweating over a hot stove. It's about having fun and playing around and finding what tastes good and sharing that with the people around you, and most of all, it's about loving food." I've had very few real epiphanies in my life, but the moment I saw my first episode of "Frugal Gourmet," with Jeff Smith making Chicken Piccata and realizing that, hey, I could do that, I was hooked. I had always hated cooking, and failed miserably every time I tried, but that one episode changed my opinion, of cooking and of myself. And though I'm not one of those guys who cooks all the time, I'm no longer afraid of the kitchen, and most times when I cook, I like the results.

And that's huge.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Successful and Not-So-Successful Events

The OSFW meeting last night was pretty cool. We held it in the rare book room of the University of Tulsa library, a gorgeous room full of warm old wood, the walls lined with rare books and artifacts in glass cases. One case held awards and keepsakes from the career of the late science-fiction author R.A. Lafferty, including a pile of old OSFW newsletters. Amazing to be holding a club meeting in a room that treats our old newsletters as museum pieces. Like taking my place in history or something. More amazing to be ostensibly leading the meeting as VP, although I think being in the room intimidated me a little bit, so I ended up deferring to K.D. Wentworth quite a bit. Not that I mind.

Then today, we had The Girl's birthday party at a local park. So of course, today is the day the maintenance crew chose to mow the grass. Because people never go to a park on Saturday. We barely managed to keep the grass clippings out of the cake. I think The Girl liked her present, though. She got herself a big girl bike, so now it'll be harder than ever to keep up with her.

Word count on the novel has not moved at all officially, because the only writing I've done has been longhand, catch-as-catch-can. I'm going to have some free time at work today, though, and I hope to get some of the longhand typed in tonight, so I'll have some official movement by the end of the weekend. I'll give a numbers update on Monday or Tuesday.

I'm a little pissed at the Lost Experience. I was a big fan of the A.I. tie-in game, nicknamed "The Beast." But what started out as an intriguing tie-in game to the TV series has turned into a Sprite marketing thing, directing viewers to a site called, where viewers are told to "obey" (recent Sprite marketing campaigns have used the slogan "Obey Your Thirst," while Sprite campaigns in the 70's claimed that the fictional lymon, a hybrid lemon-lime, was the source of Sprite's flavor). Now all they need is for the next food drop to feature Dharma-branded Sprite and I'll give up on Lost for the second time (the first time, which didn't even last a week, was when Sun was able to obtain a convenient pregnancy test from the wreckage of the plane).

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Pre-Summer Maintenance

I've never gotten into the whole ritual aspect of "spring cleaning," but the last couple of weeks, I've been doing the equivalent. I've started to work out again, bought some new clothes, cleaned old junk out of my car and my office, changed up my diet, and gotten a haircut. I'd like to get myself in shape and finish the first draft of Hero Go Home by the end of the month, and cruise into summer on a high note.This weekend might be problematic as far as making big progress on the book; writer's group Friday, daughter's birthday party and work Saturday, Mother's Day and work Sunday. But I might be able to sneak some work in there and maybe hit 70,000 by Monday.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Shoe Finally Drops

I have finally started the big finale. No more exposition. No more folks sitting around barrooms or conference rooms chatting. Just action and suspense in one long rollercoaster to the finish.

The Good: A successful conclusion to the first draft is now virtually assured, and perhaps in as little as a week and a half. Plus, writing this thing should be a blast, with plenty of cowbell for everyone.

The Not-So-Good: Once again, I may have peaked early. I've got 14,000 words between here and the end. Do I really have 14,000 words worth of material? I don't know. I can't really worry about it now, I guess. Just write the best climax I can and worry about length later, in revisions.

The Numbers: 66,000 words. The Goal: 14,000 words in 21 days (Or 666 words a day-instead of a K a day, I've now just got to write an Antichrist a day).

If you want in on the Free Drinks for Frazier's Ass-Kickers Night, it's time to start kicking...

Monday, May 08, 2006


I've reached a scene I've both anticipated and dreaded. Anticipated, because it explains things I've been hinting at throughout the book and because it sets up almost everything you need to know for the finale. Dreaded, because, well, it's an infodump. I wrote a pass at it last night, and it's a little over one thousand words of pure dialogue. It flows pretty well, as infodumps go, and I've got a couple of tricks to pull that will break it up some and hopefully keep it from being overwhelming or completely boring. But I need this scene to work, because it basically explains everything that went before and set up everything after. If it doesn't work, the whole book is kinda screwed.

The big thing is that when this scene ends, we go straight into the climactic arc, so I guess I better start figuring it all out. Yeah, I know, I said I had it planned already. I have the ending planned, and some middle bits, but I'm kind of fuzzy on how it gets to those middle bits. Word count: about 63,000. Goal: 17,000 words in 23 days.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Yoga Still Sucks

It was better this morning (having not done it in almost a year) than it was the first time I tried it, but it still sucked.

Saturday, May 06, 2006


The first week of the "K a Day" challenge is a dismal failure. Instead of a K a day, I barely managed a K in a week. On the other hand, I have worked out a couple of times this week, so my entire body is a throbbing mass of pain.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The Countdown Begins

So happy May Day. It's May 1, and the official word count on the first draft is 60,000. My goal is 80,000 by May 31st. So I have thirty days to write 20,000 words. That's less than a k a day. If I could average a k a day, I'd either get done 10 days early, or else I'd end up with a much longer book, around 90,000 words, which might be more sellable. Plotwise, everything is getting lined up for the big climax. Another couple thousand words, and it's all about watching the dominoes fall. I can't wait to see how the big climax plays out. I'm hoping for a thrilling ride.