Krissie e-mailed me this weekend and, among other things, asked me how Nita was going. Just having to sum up for her was extremely helpful, a progress report if you will. And it’s basically:
Act One is done. There will undoubtedly be cuts once the betas get their hands on it, and there’ll be some tweaking once the whole book is done because things will have shown up in later acts that need to be foreshadowed, but the Act One I’ve got now is where it’s supposed to be.
Act Two is about 3/4 done. I’m at the point where I’m filling holes, not trying to find the shape of it. I know where it is at the beginning and where it is at the end/turning point. It’s at 26, 000 words, and there’ll be at least another 5000 and some clean-up, but it’s definitely on its way.
Act Three only has about 10,000 words, but I’m saving it for last because it’s where things really go haywire and it’ll be short–probably only 20,000 words–and I know what happens.
Act Four, I know exactly what happens, I’ve blocked it out in my mind so many times, it should go pretty fast, since it’s mainly Nita kicking ass everywhere, that mad-as-Hell-and-no-chewing-gum part, and Nick quietly getting everything lined up for everybody, competence porn.
So the plan is to first diagram the character arcs, since I know where everybody’s going now, and then knock out Act Four this week, finishing the month by getting Two and Three done. Well, that’s the plan, anyway.
Here’s a Writing Tip (she said, obnoxiously):
I do a lot of good work at my diner (today over a Caesar salad, bacon cheeseburger, and excellent fries) and I highly recommend this as a writing strategy. Why? Writing in a completely different environment changes your perspective on how you think about what you’re writing. Even more important, I think, is the fact that since I’ve taken out two laptops dumping Diet Coke into them, I now only take paper and pen to the diner, not my computer. Having to actually diagram out (with arrows and circles and all that good stuff) what’s going on with four characters makes it a lot easier to move past preconceptions and nail down the core ideas. I can type a lot of words very fast which is great when I’m making up stuff up, not so good when I’m trying to think things through. The only drawback is that my notes are not in the computer, which is why it’s a good idea to mind-map everything I wrote in Curio later because I’m gonna lose all those sheets of paper.
ETA: Proof of my work ethic. (Don’t read the notes, they’re spoilers.)