October 7th, 2006


The joys of zero

As predicted, no word count yesterday. (This doesn't upset me because it was a scheduled outage, and I'll make it up today.) Ran around quite a bit, had a very nice dinner, but the Internet was down when I got back to my computer last night. So not only no wordcount, no reporting.

Bad writer, no biscuit.

Today, I write.

Technical help needed

Is there someone on my flist who understands the old Jewish calendar system, used prior to the destruction of the Second Temple? I'm trying to figure out of the contemporary year number (5767) would have been different if calculated from the classical calendar. The Wikipedia article on this is highly informative, and mentions disruptions in dating, but does not explain them.

Stemwinder update 2006-10-07

6,700 words today. 2,500 of which were to make up yesterday's lapse. I'd hoped for 10,000, but got a very late start and needed to take a nap midday. I keep forgetting I'm still sick. At any rate, good progress. I'm at 47,400 and have realized it's essentially the end of the first act.

Tomorrow some more running around, and lillypond's birthday party. Barring unusual circumstances I'll do at least minimum, and if I'm more energetic than today, maybe as much as 5,000 words. We'll see.

ETA: Livejournal is really messing with me over posting times. I hope this even shows up. Fricka fricka.

Where I am so far and how I got here (Stemwinder edition)

Well, in the last 13 days (11 days of writing effort) I've done 47,400 words on Stemwinder. That's an average speed of 4,300 words per day for the days I worked, or 3,600 for all days in the elapsed period. In either case, a very fair cop on my baseline goal of 2,500 words per day. I'm willing to call this a 140,000 word book for the sake of argument, which means four to six more weeks of writing to go at my current nominal speed. Cram a few burst days in there, and I'll chop that way down.

That's just nattering, really -- I'm not giving myself any real deadline pressure on this, just "get it done" pressure. I feel like a competent professional, not a manic nut.

That being said, I'm dealing with two realizations. Right now I'm approaching the classic writerly 'muddle in the middle' feeling, where it's starting to feel pedestrian to me. That's almost certainly not true, but even if it is, I can handle that on rewrite. I mean, I have lots of cool hardware and lots of cool people -- I don't need to send in a man with a gun. Two of my characters solve their problems rather nontraditionally for protags, which means I need to think a little harder about them. That's fun. And this "oh, it's boring" thing is normal. I think I've had it on every book so far, and I know I don't need to listen to it, certainly not while I'm drafting.

The other realization is that I may throw out almost everything up to this point. (There, I just contradicted myself.) I've given the characters a long run-up to get settled in their story problems and their personal challenges, and things are really hitting the groove. I'm often guilty of some measure of driving to the story, but 47,400 words is a lot of driving. Also an issue for rewrite, quite frankly. The cool part about this realization, though, is that even if it's utterly true, it doesn't scare me at all. I mean, come on, we're talking two week's work. The fact that it doesn't scare me to seriously contemplate something like that pleases me.

For the record, there's no way I'll do massive cuts, or even plan them with any seriousness, until I'm done with the book, drawered it for a month or two, and had a couple of trusted readers go through it. This is more like me thinking about the plot, and the cool bits, and what makes things work for the reader. I know I'm not right about it, not yet, but I will be by the time the book goes to press.

I think that's yet another definition of what it means to be a professional.