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28 February 2008 @ 12:07 pm
Writing update  
So, last night I worked way too long on a particularly sticky chapter of Nemesis. It was one of those chapters that seems to take forever to write, and everytime I check, it seemed stuck at about 2500 words, no matter how much more I'd thought I'd written. Except I finally finished it, and got across everything I needed to, which was the sticky part. And by then my eyes were gritty, and my one wrist that's been occasionally bothering me was feeling some dull pain.

I knew the next part would be easier, by comparison. I already had part of the next scene done. I'd jotted it down last year, when the pirates first occurred to me and wouldn't shut up. Of course, now that I was working that scene into the actual book, I basically had to rewrite almost the whole thing, and add a bunch to it. The time it took to do this literally flew by, and I could have kept going, but I reached a decent spot to break and thought to myself "Huh, I'll just check wordcount and see where we're at."

Most of my chapters hover somewhere around 3000 words. Sometimes they're just under, sometimes over. This chapter clocked in at nearly 4400 words! And I could have kept going. So, okay, chapter break, and on to the next. Then I checked overall wordcount.



I am well over the 30k point, putting this book at possibly a third done, or, if it goes long (120K, instead of 90-100K), a fourth. Yay! Even though there is still so much further to go, this is a big deal. 50K is close now, and in a perfect world, that will be half done.

Teensy tiny snippet, as my MC learns the drawbacks of being on a ship full of telepaths:



“Can you hear everything I’m thinking?” she asked abruptly, her eyes widening in dawning horror. He hesitated, but she read the truth on his face before he spoke.

“Pretty much, yes,” he said, and she closed her eyes.

Oh my God, she thought, remembering all the times she’d admired his ass in his flight suit. Okay, maybe best not to think of that right now. She pushed the memory away, and hoped she wasn’t turning red with embarrassment. Not that it mattered. He could read it right there in her thoughts.

“Haven’t you people ever heard of privacy?”



Beta readers, you of course know where to find the latest chapter. :-)
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Nu: book/tv--the angst!quiet_rebel on February 28th, 2008 08:22 pm (UTC)
I might have asked you this before, but do you use an outline? I'm just trying to see how you can write 120K and stick with it. I'm having a hard enough time right now getting to 80K!
rhienellethrhienelleth on February 28th, 2008 09:05 pm (UTC)
Not really. Outlines and I don't really mix. I tend to be sort of 'messy' in my planning, if that makes sense.

I start with characters, and they sort of create the story for me, and I fill in the rest, in my head, in a general way. I have what I call pivotal scenes, or milestones laid out, but jotting down each of those takes less than a page. It looks more like a list than an outline, and not a very long list at that. Some events don't even make it to paper, it might just be mental. But I write from one of these events to the next, so that's sort of like an outline.

A lot of stuff gets created as I go, things that tie this with that that occur to me as I'm writing, and are more perfect than anything I might have come up with before I started the book.

If I do write something down, it's likely to be a piece of dialogue I don't want to forget, or some worldbuilding notes, or a really major scene that I just have to get down in detail, which means I'll write out a rough draft of it. But by the time that happens, I'm usually ready to start the book.

As for wordcount, man, I just estimate. Last time, I aimed for 90K. I ended up at almost 130K! And there isn't a lot to cut, let me tell you. I'm a fan of conflict, internal, external, emotional, etc. I tend to tell complex stories that throw everything including the kitchen sink at my poor, abused MCs, and tying all of that up seems to take more words than I expect in the beginning. I'm really hoping to keep this one at 100K, but then I think of all the Major Things yet to happen, and wonder if that's possible.

I'm guessing it'll be more like 120K again.

But goals are nebulous things for me. I just write til the story is done, and if it took 70,000 words, I'd stop there. Unfortunately for me, I don't seem to write stories that wrap up in that time frame. :-/