November 2006

Yesterday, I got very little done. A coupla spot edits, a few good lines on the thing with the rosemary (one of these days I’ll figure out the title) and a section that I rewrote about four times. No, too angsty. No, too short. No, too likely to be conflated with autoerotic asphyxiation, a concern I never expected to have–but yeah, perhaps I don’t need to describe the horrors of allergies in quite such lavish detail.

Eh, when in doubt, make it funny.

Then I went and bought a used copy of Jade Empire and played it for twelve and a half hours straight. Ben supervised, and occasionally offered moral support during important fights by climbing into my lap and hugging me.

Probably gonna relax for the weekend. I begin immeditately to feel like a slacker, but c’mon, 50K in like six days, even my finely honed sense of guilt has a hard time getting that dog to hunt.

And we have 50K!

EAT THAT, NANO! *does the dance of a whole lotta words*

I got them to Anuket City. I have to go back and kick a few places into shape, but I got them there in 50K.

Now, I just need to figure out what happens once they get there…

And yes, people, if I manage to finish it and beat it into shape, I’ll see about publishing it, and if nobody wants it, I’ll find a way to toss it on-line or something.

46K, and countin’.

I’m not writing entirely consecutively, but the gaps are fairly narrow ones, usually spanning a few lines of dialog or a description, and I keep going back and filling in as I figure out what should go there. I suspect the book has two distinct halves–before and after they get to Anuket City–and I’ve now got the “before” half almost completely written–there’s only a few small bits to be slid in here and there, and the final wrap-up to get them back on the road and actually into Anuket City.

Plot eggs have been laid. We’ll see if any of ’em hatch.

Is that 40K going by? I think it is!

My favorite moment of the last few thousand words occurs as Brenner and Caliban are being held captive by a demon-deer:

“Well, so, you’re a demonslayer, then,” said Brenner eagerly. “What do we do now?”

Caliban sighed heavily. “We die.”

“What? You’re the bloody Knight-Champion!”

“I’m the former bloody Knight-Champion, and I don’t have a sword to kill her, or salt and holy water to exorcise her, and my purity of heart with which to exhort her has been pretty shaky lately, as somebody keeps reminding me!”

Sweet mother of bunnies, I may actually pull off 50K by the end of the week…

Ben has apparently decided that I need an escort to the bathroom. Every single time.

Since I am drinking immense quantities of tea in my quest to find out exactly what does happen next to our intrepid heroes, this means that he’s following me back and forth about once every twenty minutes or so.

Once there, he either sits over the register, if the heat is on, or sits in the walk-in shower and grooms himself.

Once I leave, he follows me back to the computer room and sits down in James’s chair.

I feel the love. I guess.

37K! Have another chunk.

There’s a break in the narrative here, because the intervening chunk is rougher than usual and I suspect it needs a lot more kicking. When we rejoin our heroes, they’re starting down the road to Anuket City. Relations, never great to begin with, have broken down completely. Caliban is surlier than ever, Brenner takes much delight in poking his emotional wounds, Slate is in a kind of fatalistic fugue, and Learned Edmund, a scholar of the Many-Armed God, has joined them and is not at all happy about traveling with three criminals, particularly with a woman in charge. (He’s a raging misogynist, which has been done to death, but in this case will hopefully be redeemed by the fact that he’s ultimately a far more decent person than any of the other characters. That’s the plan, anyway.)

None of which is terribly important, because the real point of this section is to address yet another glaring oversight common to fantasy novels–namely that hardly anyone in a medival city below a certain socioeconomic class would know how to ride a horse.

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31K. I keep crankin’ this out, and I may actually get back on track for Nanowrimo.

I must be inspired. I had to actually get out music instead of NPR. Since all I’ve got is Tool, Firewater, and Tom Waits, this may have a warping effect on the next chapter, which is already full of nearly Lovecraftian headless dancing rats and demon-deer women.

Still, you just can’t write desperate horror to Steeleye Span. There’s a law, or something.

Okay, okay–this is actually good for me, because I have to kick at it to the point where I am not completely humiliated by posting it. Have a chunk. It picks up directly where the other one left off.

It’s rather long. It’s REALLY rough, but I’ve already apologized for that a couple of times, so I won’t tax you with more browbeating. There is a section about a third of the way through where I basically drop kick the plot in, and I’m quite aware that it wallows like a hog in plotmuck, but I think I’ll have to get farther along before I come back and tuck the edges in there.

Still not sure about Caliban. (Yes, one of my favorite masculine names, obviously.) Possessed, agoraphobic, killed the proverbial busload of nuns, and I’m still mostly getting surly rather than tormented. Possibly I am simply much more comfortable with surly. Surly I understand.

Anyway, all those glaring flaws aside, the suicide mission and three of our four dramatis personae are dragged on stage by the end, so that’s something.

Also, I’m pretty sure I went to high school with Brenner.

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I’m sure you’re desperately sick of hearing about my writing by now, but nevertheless. I have finally written a story where the heroine, in a moment of desperate peril, on a runaway horse, can legitimately find herself thinking “It’s a math problem. If a horse traveling at twenty-six miles an hour going west is intercepted by a horse traveling at twenty-nine miles an hour going northwest, will the point where their paths cross be before or after the first horse breaks its rider’s neck?”

I can die happy now. I have achieved my ultimate victory over story problems. My life is complete.

25, 909 words, and counting.

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