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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san

you can bar the door on your demons; they will find their own way in

Mingan and Cahey brought their record collections with them when they moved back in. It's all Sarah McLachlan and Leonard Cohen in my head these days.

At least they have better taste in music than Michelangelo. Because if I had to listen to "Remedy" one more time, I was going to find him and kill him myself. Which is tricky, when somebody lives in your brain.

And is... a serious badass. It's always the quiet ones.

Progress notes for 19 May 2006:


New Words: 1467
Total Words: (actual wordcount / manuscript) 44,509 / 49,500
Pages: 198 (two pages to half a book! My god, we're nearly to the top of the hill!)
Deadline: August 1
Words per day to meet deadline: 750 (I've got it down to three pages a day!) (I should note, this statistic is the minimum number of words I need to write a day to have a Crappy First Draft finished on the due date. Turning in Crappy First Drafts is beneath my professional dignity, especially as, for this particular book, the first draft really is sufficing as a discovery draft.)
Reason for stopping: Thursday night's insomnia took its toll and I fell asleep while typing. Finished the scene this morning, and now I have to get today's word count.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
44,509 / 100,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
198 / 400

Stimulants:  not enough, apparently.
Exercise:  gym with ashacat. Elliptical, upper body weights, core, jump rope, medicine ball. I'm getting better at assisted pullups, though I nearly dropped a ten pound padded weight bar on my head today.
Mail: noooooomail
Mean Things: Andre's covered in mud and eating scorched alien fish with no salt. Poor Andre.
Tyop du jour:  André decided hat the fish could use some help; You couldn't catch another grog's gaze through muddy water
Books in progress: Wendy Moore, The Knife Man;
Other writing-related work: Printed out "Sonny Liston" to revise on the plane.
The glamorous life of the writer: Oh, that reminds me, I need to feed the poltergeist before I leave.


Question for you. Is that 100K an ideal that may end up being wildly off-base (necessitating revision effort to meet your contract terms), or are you one of those authors who can actually estimate, with accuracy, how long a book will be?
I can tell when I'm a third of the way done with a plot arc, and extrapolate/guess.

Sometimes I'm wrong, though. I underestimated Carnival by a lot. It kept recomplicating itself at the end; I was aiming for 110 and got closer to 125. (Well, I handed in 110, and my editor said "Bogus, go write me a real ending, Bear.")

But I can be creepily prescient. I knew Stratford Man was going to be around 300K (it came in at 290) and before I started writing the Jenny books, I said "This is going to be at least two books and maybe three."
Huh. I aimed with a fair amount of success on Warrior and Witch (contract asked for 90-110K; I think I handed in 113K; for me, that's success), but I have yet to master that art. Writing my Viking revenge epic, I yo-yo'd between wondering how I was ever going to fill eighty thousand words, and panicking that the thing was going to go shooting right over 150K and keep going. It ende up in the 120s, as I recall.
What does your poltergeist eat?
Thanks for the term "discovery draft." It sounds so much better than Peter F. Drucker's term "zero draft."
I'm not sure who I stole it from.... it's more accurate, for me, than "Zero Draft," anyway.