July 31, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 6

The write-a-thon ends with a whimper. I mostly failed at writing this week, though I did heroic work accomplishing a non-writing-related project. Sorry, novel! Sorry, sponsors! I'll make it up to all of you . . . in a couple weeks when life begins to re-stabilize.

Until then, here's a partial list of places I've squeezed writing into this summer:
• on an airplane
• in a car
• outside a car dealership while waiting for an oil change
• on the floor of my bathroom while waiting for my cat to poop (long story)
• in my empty house.

July 25, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 5 & 5.5

Timing is everything. Urgent non-writing commitments refuse to go away, and are in fact reaching their most critical time this week.

So in the second half of week five I wrote another 1800 words, for a weekly total of 3800. It's the lowest one so far, but it has yet to be outdone by week six, which so far totals zero words. In my semi-defense, though, this year's week five would still rank as last year's second-highest week. Take that, last year's me!

I did also reach two pretty cool milestones--at the same time!

It's official: by anyone's count it's long enough to be a novel. Is it good enough? Not yet. But that's a problem for Future Emily.

July 20, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 4.5

So far this week I've managed 2000 words on the novel project.

But I woke this morning from a strange dream, and while I can't now remember what the dream was about, it may have given me a new novel idea. So today instead of writing on the current project, I wrote a quick, dirty plot synopsis for a potential next idea. The funniest thing: the idea is kind of "Romeo and Juliet in Space," which I have said is exactly the sort of thing I don't write. So maybe I do. Deal with it.

No excerpt this time. I know you're heartbroken about it.

July 16, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 4

Zoinks. This was a hard week, but I managed another 900, 1000, and 700 words, for a week four total of 5200. The four-week total is 22,100, which is 3600 more than I wrote in all of last year's WAT, and 1000 more words than I had written by this point in my Clarion West experience.

It's too bad that what I'm writing is such a mess.

It's fun, in a way, to just throw words up on the page like spaghetti against a wall. This isn't the way I normally work, and we'll see if it succeeds in the end.
Over the rise, her doppelganger was talking to Gabriel. “Wait here a minute,” she said, breaking away from him. She wore a puzzled look on her face, and Ari thought it made her look dumb. Then she laughed, noticing the distance she was trying to put between herself and the woman now walking toward her—her very own self, only about a half hour younger but a good deal more innocent.
After a moment, the other Ari crept around a tombstone. “What are you doing here?” she asked.
Ari laughed. “I’ve come from the future,” she said in a mock-spooky voice.
You can still sponsor me or a writer similar to me here. Every little bit helps!

July 13, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 3.5

Slow going this week, as life gets in the way. Curse you, life! Additionally, now that I'm so close to the end of the novel I can see how much is wrong with it. Revision will be tricky. But I'm trying to tell myself that that's a problem for Future Emily, and not worry about it right now.

Saturday: 600
Sunday: 1500
Monday: eaten by urgent life
Tuesday: 500
The graveyard was exactly as Ari remembered it, to an uncanny degree. Of course, it was not only the same graveyard, but the same moment in that graveyard. Every leaf on every plant bent in precisely the same direction as they had when she and Gabriel left.
They walked quickly and silently across the neatly trimmed grass. Ari didn’t check for footprints, or bloodstains. Her own clothes were clean, stolen from a secondhand shop. She told herself that the things she’d seen and done that night never really happened. For the most part, they hadn’t.

July 09, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 3

Just the facts:

I wrote every day this week, for a total of 6400 words. This brings my three-week total to 16,900. That's almost as much as I managed to write in all six of last year's weeks!

I also learned that one very generous sponsor donated $100 in my name. Thank you, generous sponsor! Your donation inspires me to keep writing.
His knees felt weak, transparent. He sank to the grass. He wanted to stand tall in front of her, touch the side of her face with his knuckles. But he couldn’t summon up the strength. He managed a smile full of pain. “I want to say, ‘we’ll always have Paris,’ but I guess I won’t.”
Ari looked at him, face unreadable. It looked scrubbed, lines smoothed away.
“Remember me,” Gabriel said.

July 05, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 2.5

I am dangerously pleased with myself. Saturday I wrote 1300 words, Sunday 700 (in an airport!), Monday a measly 300, and today 1200 and counting. I admit to writing a lot of words for words' sake--a hazard of challenging oneself to a quantity output without specifying quality--but the plot seems to be moving forward.

Even more encouragingly, the total word count for the project is around 49,600. I had thought that 50K was the threshold of noveldom, making this an exciting time for me (it WILL be a novel!). But then I looked up SFWA's definitions and saw that they call anything over 40K a novel. So, it's a novel. Or at least it will be when it's finished. AND, I think that will happen this summer, despite a lot of offstage life chaos.

All of this optimism is dangerous, though. Tim Powers is always telling me that guilt is a powerful motivator, and it's hard to feel guilty and proud at the same time. The writing equivalent of this fantastic blog post might happen. Go on, read it; I'll wait.

In fact, read that instead of an excerpt this time. There's too much plot in the last few days of writing, and I don't want to spoil it. Maybe next time.

July 01, 2011

CW Write-a-thon: Week 2

The second half of this week got off to a rocky start. I fought to write 700 words on Tuesday, then on Wednesday those words seemed to have disappeared. Husband saved my sanity by finding them, but there was a long enough space in between that I was starting to feel like this project was cursed. Wednesday ended up being a day off, then I squeezed out 600 words on Thursday and 1400 on Friday.

For a Week Two total of 5400.

The real news is that, as of today, I'm starting to think I can draft this novel by the end of the summer. It won't be good. But it might exist. Finally.
Ari and Gabriel landed in a thick stand of trees some distance from the main house of White Falls, on the wide surface of a fallen tree. Ari, pre-crouched and balanced for the surface, set down as softly as a cat. Gabriel, on the other hand, landed like a kitten—all limbs that he didn’t seem in full control of. He slipped off the side and landed with a twiggy crunch on the forest floor a few feet below.