it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

Hooray, hooray, for the first of May

Progress notes for 1 May 2006:


New Words:

I'm supposed to be having an I Quit week. Which of course means I'm antsy to write, because I'm not supposed to be writing while Undertow settles onto its foundations and the concrete cures.

Of course, the urge to write doesn't mystically provide a head full of shiny things to say. Bastard book. Where is my radical genius???

The notecarding, however, is having an effect. It is astounding how clarifying breaking a book down into bite-size chunks is. I've already has several major plot points that were stalling me click into place, and come to the not very stunning realization that I started the book way too late in the story, which is why I have this odd sensation of characters wandering through their roles without any apparent rationale behind it.

Because you haven't established the characters, dink, just kicked us into the action without a fare-thee-well.

It also explains why stuff is happening that I thought would be mid-book stuff, not beginning-of-book stuff. Because I am halfway through the story and I should be closer to a quarter of the way there.

Of course, this is because I love my hook. But that hook should be the resolution of a subplot, not the kickoff of the book.

Damn you, structure. Damn you to heck!

That said, I got 450 words on Patience and Fortitude, and about a thousand words on a vignette in the Promethean Age universe that will never see print, but tells me something I needed to know about some of the characters.

Total Pages: 91
Total Words (MS Word / Manuscript count): 19,094 / 22,750
Minimum words per day to meet deadline: 879
Deadline: August 1
Reason for stopping: never started. *g*

I did however get a BUNCH of notecards written out.

Stimulants: Diet Dr. Pepper, chai
Exercise: Gym with ashacat
Mail: I was pointed at this discussion of Hammered at by a friend. Reactions are mixed; spoilers; a popup that Firefox can't seem to kill; people whining about the franglish both from the "It's not French!" and "It's too hard!" sides of the coin. 

(Somebody pointed out a while back that the issue is confused even more because a bunch of the diacriticals got dropped. Some of them were probably my fault, and some were probably the typesetter's fault, and yeah, alas, I got a generous 18 hours to review the galleys of that book, and I'm not actually sure that any of the corrections I made to them ever got transferred to the production copy. C'est la guerre. The errors in the English are even more winceable: storm sewer, not storm cellar; ecliptic, not elliptic, und so weiter.)

(How hard is it to read not-French written so that it relies on direct English cognates? Am I the only person on earth who tries to parse through foreign language sentences based on words and structures I know in other languages? It got me through The Name of the Rose...)

(I'm kind of hoping that if the book is ever translated into French, they switch those passages into English adapted to French syntax and morphology.)

(Anyway, I'm never trying that trick again. Too much freaking complaining.)

I know, I know; the world is also full of people who wander around asking really obvious questions because they can't be arsed to Google. Didn't their parents ever give them a condescending eyebrow and tell them to look things up?

Also, it's May. Which means The Chains that you Refuse ships in two weeks. As soon as I remembered the date, I started alternately bouncing in my chair and feeling nauseated.

Today's words Word don't know: 
Words I'm surprised Word do know: n/a
Mean Things: decided, alas, that I'm going to have to introduce the character I mean to kill off an make her sympathetic. Also, figured out the macguffin. Which is even thematic!
Tyop du jour: n/a
Darling du jour: n/a
Books in progress: Wendy Moore, The Knife Man;
Interesting tidbit of the day: Max Barry on writing goals: maximum numbers of words per day. I did something similar for a while, when I found that I was exhausting myself writing obsessively.

Looming deadlines, on the other hand, tend to derail the process slightly.

Other writing-related work: reread Undertow. Broke out the 3x5 cards and started writing down stuff. I have this little list of things I need to know to have any kind of hope of finishing this book.

Also, I made myself a little Excel spreadsheet that tells me how fast I need to be writing to finish Undertow on deadline. It's reassuring. It reassures me that if I completely ignore the book until July 31st, I only have to write 80,000 words overnight, and I can still be on time.

The glamorous life of the writer: sorted four loads of laundry and washed two (which involves hauling them up and down from the basement, as I live in an apartment building with no elevator--but, thankfully, does not involve a laundromat, boo laundromats). tomorrow: must pay the rent, mail things, do tax stuff.
Tags: progress notes, undertow
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