ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
I have finally printed out the Behemoth novel-so-far, all 100K words of it. (85k? that was me conflating my guesstimate of 85% completion with the 85k words total I wrote last year, I think.) Twenty pages at a time, 179 pages total. Plus wastage, where it skipped a page and all the other pages in the batch are out-of-phase. Cheap laser, inexpensive paper; not professional tools.

I've had fiddlier, slower printing experiences. Like printing out my PhD thesis on a 2-min-per-page dot matrix printer with a BBC micro that could only handle about half a chapter at a time, and there was one chapter where I had to load a different set of handcrafted symbol fonts between pages. Like printing a different novel-length thing in four-sheet signatures on a 2ppm bubble-jet without a sheet feeder, hand-feeding every sheet four times. That was ... a while ago, though.

And now the laser printer wants me to order it a new cartridge. Fortunately, I did that a long time ago, and the replacement is sitting on top of my filing cabinet at work.
ellarien: writing is ... (writing)
For the first time in months, my writer-brain is itching, but I can't decide where to start. So, a poll!

[Poll #1398394]
ellarien: writing is ... (writing)
It is now slightly thereafter ...

But that wasn't what I wanted to post about.

I'm feeling somewhat disenchanted with the Behemoth novel at the moment. It's been stalled at just over 100K words, give or take a few brief false starts, since May or thereabouts when the heat and the travel started to make it hard to keep to routine, and I can't rouse myself to much enthusiasm for finishing it. There's still a lot that needs to happen in between now and the ending, certainly more than 20K worth; hero and heroine have only just met, after a long online acquaintance, for one thing.

The trouble is, I have a horrible feeling that the words so far are not only the wrong words, but describing entirely the wrong subset of events. There's a multi-planet-spanning civilization on the verge of economic collapse in the aftermath of a war a generation ago, a tragic Ahab-esque Captain, hyperspace pirates and enigmatic aliens and a peevish semi-sentient computer ... but most of what has actually happened on stage so far seems to involve messing about with thumb drives and cellphones, drinking coffee, and trapesing through endless corridors. Once I get to the end, I'm going to have to go right back to the beginning and try to find the right bits to put in instead.

It might have been more efficient to start with a proper outline, but nothing happened when I tried to write one. If I didn't have three more or less coherent novel-length objects lying around, I'd be starting to think I wasn't cut out for this novel-writing business at all.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
I wrote 515 words tonight, which is admittedly not much, but more than I've been doing. (I got about 800 words last month; most of my computer time was going to digitizing slides.) For the record, the wordcount as of yesterday was 102,002.

The AC hasn't been fixed, I think, but mercifully the weather hasn't been too terribly hot today, so it's bearable. Sort of.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

I've been writing fairly steadily this week, in spite of the heat, and got past what had been feeling like a major hurdle.

Next week may be more problematic -- still hot, and certain unavoidable things that need to get done in the real world, as I'm off to the UK on Friday. Still, I'll try.


Jun. 18th, 2008 11:55 pm
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
Jorik and Claris are in the same room!

And it only took 97,900 words to get there.

Tomorrow, they might get an actual face to face conversation. (So far this book, they've had one long videophone conversation and a handful of text messages. They were originally supposed to get to this point within the first few chapters, but it didn't come out that way.)

It was so hot this evening that I did most of the writing on the Palm, which runs fairly cool on battery. The appeal of the Eee is somewhat diminished when the indoor temperatures are around 80 F; it's a cute little thing, but it does get warm!
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
(After [livejournal.com profile] writerknv

The 5th sentence of the 123rd page of the (stalled, but scheduled to restart tomorrow) WIP, which is currently not in MS format but in the format I write in (single-spaced TimesNewRoman 12, 1.25 inch side and 1 inch top/bottom margins, so six or seven hundred words to a page.)

"I promise you, the shipwights know there is a problem, and they will do their best."

That's actually from one of the embedded stories, rather than the main novel, but it does rather encapsulate the plot.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
Poked at the story a bit in preparation for next round of [livejournal.com profile] thing_in_150

Starting wordcount, for the record: 96192
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

I wrapped up the story of Behemoth 23, so I'm calling it a week even though I'm well short of quota.

Also, I need to put sheets on the bed before I can sleep.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
As of Sunday night:

Now bogged down on at least two fronts, possibly three, and in danger of losing sight of the plot, but slogging on regardless. Why will characters -- characters put together completely on the fly, at that == not do what they're supposed to do? Behemoth 23 is not supposed to be saved, but between her Navigator and her eager young Engineer it might happen.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

I got my 3500 words and change for the week, though I did run into the early hours of Monday to do it.

I gave in and let Jorik have his POV spot back in Chapter 1 -- or possibly 1a. This is clarifying some things. My characters have a bad habit of being better at figuring things out than I am at setting puzzles for them.

Also accomplished: taxes all done bar the signing, stapling, folding, and enveloping; a Trader Joe's run; installing Vista SP1. I have not, however, cooked lentils or banana bread, which were supposed to be on today's agenda.

If I wasn't so eager to see my Editor's Complimentary Copies (of, I'm reliably informed, non-Doom), I'd be very tempted to call it a three-day weekend.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

Not a terribly productive week, and I'm not entirely sure that more of tonight's words won't get thrown out as introducing an unwanted complication. (Here everyone including me thought we were building a better stardrive, and it turns out we're doing gates instead. In a universe that's never had them before.)

Leaving for Napa in the morning; will probably be online during the week, but not as much as usual. Writing opportunities may be a bit limited, too, but I'll try.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

It's been a struggle, this week. Read more... )
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

Yes, that's me, moving the goalposts. Moving them farther away, that is.


Mar. 10th, 2008 12:01 am
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
I was trying to be efficient this morning, and cooked up a batch of beans and baked a ginger cake before lunch. The beans were okay, if a bit soupier than usual, but the cake fell apart coming out of the pan -- a combination of insufficient greasing and slightly too long in the oven, I think. It should eat well enough, but it isn't presentable to anyone else.

I think the laundry went without any major mishap, but I didn't make it out to Trader Joe's, and the kitchen is a bit of a mess. At least my data is backed up six ways from Sunday.

Also, I just wrote about 1200 words of plot-noodling, which I hope will let me move on with the novel soon. I have slightly more idea now about what Jorik knew and when, and am resigned to giving him a few POV chapters.

ellarien: bookshelves (books)
There's an Amazon depot in Phoenix now, which means that occasionally my orders turn up only a couple of days after they ship. Today that happened with the next Malazan book (hardcover, US edition) and Iain M. Banks' Matter. The interesting thing about the Banks is that I think it's the first one I've bought that isn't a UK edition. (I was also amused to confirm, by finding the boarding pass still tucked into the back of the book, that I was reading Excession on the plane over when I flew out to live here in 1997.)

No writing tonight. I think the novel is trying to tell me something -- something that involves going back and putting in POV scenes for the offstage internet boyfriend. I certainly need to think a bit, before he finally meets heroine in the flesh, about what he figured out when. I suspect he's too smart not to have deduced whose son he is before he actually meets his parents, however hard the Shipwights tried to hide it. Heroine obviously doesn't know that yet, though she's had at least one moment of "That's funny -- no, must be a coincidence." Given that heroine is very smart indeed in some ways, this may need to be addressed at some point.

I'm behind on the writing as it is, and travel season is going to hit hard in a couple more weeks: Napa at the end of March, another trip at the end of April, and then Florida and Montana back-to-back in the last week of May and the first week of June, probably to be followed by an extended UK trip in July and then another meeting in Boulder in August. Perhaps the thing will go easier once I figure out the plot. I really should give in and admit that the first draft is going to run well over 100K, though. It might shrink again later; I've never pulled that off yet, having if anything a tendency to underwrite on the first draft and expand later, but I'm not saying I never will.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
At least I'm writing this week, if slowly and painfully. Other than that, life is not very exciting, and it's windy and dusty and mostly not very warm. The novel isn't very exciting either, but at least tonight's stint -- heroine text messaging with Internet boyfriend, and appearance of mysterious honor-guard formation in hyperspace -- was a bit more interesting than the previous couple of days of messing around with computers. It's a much draftier first draft than I used to write in the old days, and I'm not very comfortable with that, however much I'm assured -- and assure myself -- that I can fix it later. Still, it's over the 75,000 word mark, though I doubt that actually means it's three quarters of the way to the end, let alone three quarters done.


Feb. 24th, 2008 11:42 pm
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

So far I have managed not to pass my malaise on to the characters, though everyone's tired and cranky after being up most of the night.

Also accomplished, though with slightly more klutziness than usual; three loads of laundry and a pot of vegetable-bean stew, rather less spicy than the last one. Maybe it was the pale yellow chilli pepper that made the difference last time; the jalapenos seem to have been pretty mild. I did not attempt baking.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
My characters don't talk to me, on the whole, though they do sometimes do things I don't expect, or refuse to do things I had lined up for them to do. Occasionally, they say things on the page that surprise me and get me thinking.

Case in point )

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.



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