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Too long away from the bar

September 6, 2010

The progress bar for my YA novel, that is. I haven’t updated the blue in months despite some significant work happening during part of that. I didn’t update because I’d created a mess with some parts written twice and some pieces skipped over. To clear it all up, I cut and pasted the less desirable portion (albeit longer portion) into a different file so I could feel free to delete. From that big chop I’ve typed a little more and now my word count is about 10,000. That puts me up to 20% of my 50,000-word blind target.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I jotted down some notes from what I had before but I haven’t gone back to make the changes in the file, since I may well want to change them again before the end.  Mostly I wanted to read my copy so far to get back on the page I needed to be on.  I feel like I’ve overlooked a subplot and spent too much time on a character quirk, but I can iron all that out later.

I’m currently in a slow part of the story where a lot of milieu building, character building, and foreshadowing take place.  I know, boring.  I need to toss a little sabotage or paranoia in the mix.  Again, later.  Once I power through the next 1000 words or so, I’m into raw plot.  It’ll take another few thousand, maybe even the halfway point of the book, before the big game-changing conflict strikes.  The pacing is a little off, I’m sure; short stories are not just little novels.  As I read Old Man’s War — John Scalzi’s premiere novel, not totally outside the length target of my project — I am paying careful attention to things like pacing.  Never stop learning.

So the bar is current and I’ll update it more soon.  Jason Fischer (the Aussie in the mix at WotF 26) has cast down the gauntlet (though I think it was actually a mitten) challenging the WotF crew to write a thousand words a day.  I had already written about 800 today before the mitten dropped; I intend to hunt-and-peck a good 7000 words over the next week, though maybe not evenly spaced over the days.  I guess I’m targeting 1200 tomorrow.  If I can produce that much consistently, I’ll have a novel by month’s end.  Nevermind I have to get my Codex Halloween story written sometime…I’ll just deal with that later.  I’m a novelist for the next few weeks.  And hopefully a lot longer.

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