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Archive for the ‘Progress Report’ Category

Posted by Dirck on 22 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 18 manuscript pages.

This week was a bit of a struggle, and not for want of inspiration or direction.  I knew exactly what the scene at hand was to be, but I was doing something terrible to the protagonist.  I’ve done plenty of terrible to other characters, mind you, and the protagonist has been dealing with the fall-out from it, and even witnessing some of it, but that’s all comfortably fictitious supernatural terribleness.  This week the terrible was of a true-to-life nature, the sort of thing that happens all the damn time in the news and which makes us all shake our heads and wonder at the base nature of humanity.

What made this hard is that it wasn’t something that was done to the protagonist; it was something he did.  Given who I modeled him on, and who the inspiration for his victim is, it was a steep bit of the path to the summit.  All the more so because I can imagine the sort of assumptions that will get made post-publication; if the author wrote this, then doesn’t it stand to reason he thought thus?

No.  No it doesn’t.  That’s why the slow progress.  I was axle-deep in cognitive dissonance.

Also, you’ll note there that I flatter myself with the notion that there’s going to be publication. Vanity still has a seat at my table.

OH!  I forgot, in all that– srtuggle or no, I’m out of the red at last:

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Posted by Dirck on 15 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 21 manuscript pages.

No profound thoughts this week; I do find myself having to tamp down impatience to be bloody well done this first draft, and not just because I’d like to get onto the back-up-able phase and silence worries about fire, flood and nesting rodents.  The calendar pages are flying off the wall!  Other stories want writing!

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Posted by Dirck on 8 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 26 manuscript pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 1 June, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 20 manuscript pages.

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Posted by Dirck on 25 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 12 manuscript pages.†

†Apart from having to spend most of Monday prostrated before an effigy of Victoria, d.g. Reg., Def. Fid., Imp. Ind, as required by Canadian federal law and thus getting no writing done‡, I find that the air up here as I approach 60,000 words is getting damn thin.  I’ve sent a team of Sherpas back to the last supply cache to drag up a few extra cylinders of inspiration, but until they get back I’m moving fairly slowly.

‡In all honesty, I was mowing the lawn and pushing my son on the swings.  While it’s not getting the book finished, both are valid (and in the latter, important) uses of my time, so I thank Her Late Majesty for imposing a day off in the best part of the year upon me.

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Posted by Dirck on 18 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 21 manuscript pages.

I’m about, according to my own estimates, 70% finished the first draft.  This is not going as quickly as I might have hoped, although it’s not going quite as slowly as I’d feared.  I found another gap in my research today, which I should be able to comfortably fill in during the second-draft process, and this lead me off on another tangent of thought….

Part of me is beginning to yell at the other parts regarding the mechanical approach to the writing I’m following.  “Hand-written first draft?  Fine for a 4,000 word story, but on this scale… what is wrong with you?!”  I don’t think I’m going to listen to it, because as this late stage to shift to the the sort of writing production that most normal people seem to pursue these days, banging away on a keyboard rather like I’m doing right this minute, doesn’t seem possible without jumping right into the second-draft process.  Which would mean leaving the back 30% of the thing in a nebulous form while I re-write what already exists, only picking up the weaving when I travel back to this point… and I don’t know that the narrative would survive this sort of interruption of its gestation.

HOWEVER, for those who are (still, somehow) interested in this process, and for Future Me who will one day be writing another novel (I have vague outlines for at least eight, so I’d best pick up my pace), a couple of thoughts on this hand-written first draft stuff.  On the negative side, it is taking a long time, and it means second draft will also take a long time, since that won’t just be amending stupidities, but will be an entire re-write to transform marks on paper into an electronic format that editors and publishers will actually look at.  Also, as it stands now, my very-literal manuscript is a unique object; no redundancy, no off-site back-up.  This has been a source of some concern for about the past month and a half, as the imp of the perverse keeps painting pictures of fire, flood and brief-case theft.  I find that the difference of scale between a 4,000 word short story and an 80,000 word novel radically alters my ability to look at these potential disasters and greet them with an indifferent shrug.  I might well toss myself into a lake if the current heap of paper were to meet with a bad end.

The benefits of hand-written creation are still present.  I don’t go back and fiddle with specifics, so the flow of the work remains (generally) good.  I might be closer to done now if I had hit the keyboard ab initio, but I might also be only half as far along, having allowed myself to spend a full day getting one paragraph just so because the text is so malleable when it’s electronic.  Hand-writing harnesses the power of laziness in this regard, or perhaps lashes it to the power of cheapskate-ish-ness, because to do that sort of thing now would be a lot of fruitless scribbling and wasted paper.  At this point, though, I think I may have enough practice with rushing ahead on extruding the basic concept of the scenes without giving into the urge to fix things that aren’t quite the right shape that I may be able to conduct the practice in a keyboard-driven environment and thus be able to attack novel-length projects with better efficiency.

I guess we’ll see when I’m done this one.  Which… sigh… won’t be very soon.

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Posted by Dirck on 11 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 17 manuscript pages (plus two of utterly useless gibberish that ate time pointlessly on Monday); the muse but whispers this week.

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Posted by Dirck on 4 May, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 23 manuscript pages

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Posted by Dirck on 27 April, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 24 manuscript pages

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Posted by Dirck on 20 April, 2017

This Week’s Pens Inks How Much Novel Written
  • 19 manuscript pages

Another lost Monday, alas, this time to a phone-call which ran long over the start of my lunch break.  By the time I had basic sustenance down me, there wasn’t time to get the machinery churning properly on the novel.  As petty revenge for this, I filled free moments in the rest of the afternoon doing some preliminary world-building for a future story with a (relatively) hard SF setting– I now know just how big my ship is, and how quickly it rotates to provide 1G on the main working deck and Mars-equivalent gravity in the recreation area.  Idle brains are the Devil’s plaything, after all.

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