Today, after declaring an end to the Barf Phase yesterday evening, The Red Rook moved into it’s second primary production stage, which I dub the Polish Phase. RR currently stands at a little over 78,500 words, which is reasonably close to my target of 80K words for the rough draft. Amazingly, I managed to maintain a 1K+ words per day all the up to the day before the final day (yesterday was I only managed to eke out 900 words or so), and all with only a moderate amount of pushing myself. If prior experience holds, I should be able to get a polished draft to my beta readers in about thirty days.
Yesterday marked another 20,000 words since the Red Rook progress report #2, and a mere 20,000 left to go for my targeted fist draft length of 80K. I continue to roll out 1K+ words a day, and I keep wondering when I’m going to hit the wall. But I’m pretty determined to do 80K in 80 days (or A Novel in Around 80 Days, but that’s a post for another day). At this point I’m reasonably certain I can get the beta draft of the Red Rook done by the end of September, and the ‘final’ version done by the end of November.
Just passed over the half-way point of 40,000 words on the Red Rook rough draft yesterday. I’ve managed to maintain a rate of over 1K words per day, which has been a pleasant surprise for me. If yo had asked me that I would could have turned out 1,000 plus words a day for 38 days straight, I would have said ‘No way!’. Hope to make it at least to the end of July at this rate.
This month was a good month. I’ve made good progress on the Red Rook, (sequel to Dispensing Justice, the first in my Nova Genesis superhero SF series) (and it’s from Penny’s viewpoint, rather than Michael’s) and it now stands at a bit over 21,000 words, which is a little over a quarter of the way to my 80,000 word goal for my first polish draft. What has been a little surprising is that I’ve been averaging slightly more than a thousand words a day. I think it’s because I’ve been bouncing around a lot, writing scenes and partial scenes as they come to me. Not sure how long that will last, but I’m hoping to keep the pace up at least through half-way. Of course, at some point I’m going to have slow down and fill in the gaps.
Yesterday evening was our second meeting in the Great Lakes Coffee and Chocolate Co. off Jackson Rd. and they once again accommodated us without complaint. I trotted out my new opening for “The Alchemist of Liberty” and it went over well. I’ve started to notice when I (finally) work out the right starting point for a story. It is difficult to define, but I know when I pretty much have it nailed. I felt that way when I stumbled on the first person framing narrative for “The Shaper’s Daughter” and I feel that way about Sir Tristan and Teal on upper observation deck of the zeppelin Waking Dream, both of which I was influenced to put together by comments from the writers’ group (not with standing that not many people in the group liked the first person framing of the “The Shaper’s Daughter”).
Yesterday evening we had our first writers’ group meeting at the Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee Co. (located on Jackson Rd. in Ann Arbor) rather than the standard location at Borders in Arborland (‘Tis the season and all, so Borders, who are quite gracious hosts, would rather not have us around for November and December). The topic of agents and editors who blog came up, as well as writing query letters and pitches. I wanted to share the interesting blog entry by eeknight on character based pitches (which is the excuse for this bit of blogging) so check out my prior blog entry on this here (see second paragraph). I also mentioned DeepGenre, which has the interesting ‘13-line critiques‘, which I am not sure that it is still active as the last submitted critique was in 2006, but the archive of 177 critiques is interesting.
I read another excerpt from “The Alchemist of Liberty” (sorry not much behind that link yet) and received some good feedback which has, luckily or not, started me writing a new opening scene (and I was reading in the middle of the story!).
Yesterday evening I had the second reading of “The Alchemist of Liberty” at the writers’ group that I frequent. It went over a bit better than the first part (see my rant from last week), which is not too surprising given its more intense action sequences and introduction of a plethora of new terms (which I have been working on cleaning up). The main critique was to more on the characters and not be so relentless in my introduction of new things, which is, of course, a good suggestion as compelling characterization will usually pull you through the rough spots.
One interesting suggestion to come out of yesterday’s reading was that I should try writing it up as a movie script and sell it to Hollywood as the SFX wizards could do better justice to its visuals. This is not the first time that I have been told, in not so many words, that my writing has a cinematic quality to it. On the other hand, I can’t help but think this is polite way of saying that I should give up on trying to describe complex and/or exotic situations and events. I will politely ignore that, if it is the actual intent of the comment, and continue on trying to describe said exotic complexities.
This does bring to mind one fond wish of mine, which is to have Matt Howarth illustrate a graphic novel based one of my stories. How is that for pie in the sky?