Progress Report, No Bubblegum

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.)


13 thoughts on “Progress Report, No Bubblegum

  1. I’ve been on twitter with a bunch of slightly younger women, and the rule is “like selfies and pets, ban nazis” which is pretty simple. The number of crazy and delightful and affirming and charming selfies that have gone past my eyes in the last couple months is larger by orders of magnitude, and it is all making me SO happy… so seeing your selfie there is delightful – thank you!

    1. I am happy. Luckiest woman I know.
      If it helps, I never take it for granted.

      While I was looking for a photo to meme, I found that one of you and me together at RWA 2015. We looked pretty happy then, too.

  2. It helps to know that real authors have as much challenge in getting something written as I do writing stuff for work.

    Now I don’t sit just worrying about what to write. I write oodles of bad, get up and move around, and then start worrying it all over again.

  3. I love everything about this post. Perfect end to a rough day (sick toddler, no sleep for anyone). Now to bed so I’m well-rested for the likely one-a.m.-wailing…

  4. I did not read the notes. Which is silly, because I’m a re-reader and anything after second read means spoiled rotten.

    So glad writing is going well. Am sending good vibes.

    1. Yes, but I always want that first read to be as much of an engulfing experience as possible. So I don’t read the notes either. I will revisit a book over and over ( especially in audio) for the ambiance and to find new things, or for comfort, but nothing beats that first blind read…

  5. I did try to read the notes. I could make out enough to actually have too many things spoiled. Trulky, I don’t know that anything was spoiled by what I was able to read. Of course, I hang out here a lot.

  6. It has been far, far too long since I’ve had a cheeseburger. We’ve got cheeseburgers at a local restaurant called Bikkuri Donkey, but they don’t have buns, and no bacon. (It’s like meatloaf smothered in cheese sauce — very, very good, but not a cheeseburger.) Still, it sounds like a good treat for a writing weekend, because they do have wifi and electrical outlets.

    I wonder if I could smuggle in my own bacon.

    (-: Your adventures are very inspirational. So happy to hear about the progress on Nita, too.

    1. low to mid range places in the US and Australia, the wait staff doesn’t want to know. I took bread to a fondue place once, from her reaction it was completely invisible.
      I would suggest tiny bacon pieces, much easier to stir into cheese sauce for that easily invisible look. Bacon is one of the few non-people things I still miss. US and Australia, very different ideas about bacon.


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