Just got home from Jukido. I was the only white belt who showed up for this night's class, which can be kind of nice, because I spent the time working with one of the brown belts who is an excellent and patient teacher. And then at the end of class, the orange belt and I got to take our turns as monkey in the middle (first time I've done that), which was really excellent for bringing home just how little I've internalized of what we've been practicing.
It keeps you humble. Like rocks, and novels, and Gordon Lightfoot's chord changes.
75,000 words on Range of Ghosts, which means that I am within a hard two week's writing of a complete novel draft.
Which means I have, through diligence, bought myself enough room to goof off for a bit here. Where by "goof off," I mean read a couple more research books and let things settle in my head so I can give this book some of the stakes-raising and character development it's currently missing before I write the second draft. I mean to keep pushing through to finish the first one, because psychologically I need a draft under my belt before Viable Paradise, or I will be unbearable all workshop.
Basically, I've been getting through the plot on this draft, and on the second draft I need to figure out how to make it cook. I mean, I have plenty of stuff going on, but just stuff going on doesn't make a story if it's merely a series of unfortunate events. So I need to crank stuff up. And I also need to get psyched, and have my book-end writing frenzy planned and accounted for. There's plenty of liquor in the house, and eggplant parm, steamed buns, shumai, and venison stew in the freezer...
The wall could fall at any moment.
I've been slowing down--still making tolerable progress, but as I come up on the ending, more 1K days than 3K days. I'm going to make this, though. I want a fucking tiara and a pair of bulletproof bracelets if I make it to Dec. 31st without a hernia.
The better I get at this writing thing, the less worried I get about how shitty my first drafts are. It's funny: I used to fuss over them. Now I just baste the bastards together, because I know I'm going to be pulling it all apart and putting it back together different anyway.
Broke 300,000 words for the year today, and there are still four months of it to burn. I really have been overworking myself.
Publication date for The Tempering of Men, by the way, will be August 11, 2011. Set your calendars accordingly.