Friday, January 31, 2014


1,913 words today.

20,129 for January.

112,444 for the completed draft.

The Home Stretch

Man, I was SO wiped out last night. I was yawning my face off by 9:00, and barely made it to my bed. I feel a little silly being so dramatic-- after all, Joely finishes like three books a year and I don't recall her ever whining about it as much as I am-- but this whole week I have truly felt like I am in some kind of altered state.

Okay. So today is probably another 2K day. I have to tutor for one hour, and wrangle The Son for a few hours in the late afternoon, but other than that I have all day to write. First up, I need to finish climax 1:
a) back up and add a few lines of set-up to the previous chapter 10:52
b) write a few paragraphs of action leading up to the big dialogue exchange 11:41 --breaking for lunch now.
c) add attributives and beats to dialogue 3:45  975 words so far today.

Once that's done, I have one more shortish section to write.

Deep breath...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Done for the Day

Finished the dialogue for climax 2.

1,931 words today. (Yikes!)

18,216 for January (Not too shabby.)

110,531 words in the draft. (Holy Shit.)

One More Chapter to Go

I finished climax 1. 1,242 more words on it today. Great googly-moogly.

That finishes up chapter 24. I've lost another chapter since my last shuffle, so the next one is the last I need to write for this draft. It consists of two sections: climax 2-- which is considerably shorter than climax 1, thank dog-- and a wrapping-things-up section.

Plowing ahead with the dialogue for climax 2. The scene is practically all dialogue, so if I can get it done today I'll be in good shape.

Plan for the Day

I'm abandoning word count goals; I'll definitely write more than 500 words today and tomorrow, and what matters now is completing sections.

Today I need to finish climax 1, and then write all the dialogue for climax 2.

I just dropped The Son at school and had my breakfast; now I'm going to clean the kitchen, start a huge pot of bone broth, write a few work e-mails, and then get going.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


541 words today.

16,285 for January.

108,600 for the draft.

I'm tired and grouchy, and annoyed that anyone has the gall to expect anything of me this week beyond finishing the draft. I'm a joy to be around, really.

Tonight I was trying to explain to The Husband how I feel, and I said that it's like I've finally reached the end of an exhausting and frustrating day-long car journey, only to discover that the directions were wrong and my destination is actually another 30 minutes away. It's not that big a deal-- I know how to get there, and everything will fine once I do-- but I'm exhausted and starving and my ass hurts and night is falling, and I just want out of the damn car.

On the up side, I think some of what I'm writing this week might actually be awesome.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


...or it would be, if I weren't running long. *SIGH*

1,023 words today.

15,744 for January.

108,036 for the draft.

Good progress today-- finished all the dialogue and most of the attributives and beats for climax 1. The scene probably has another 500-1,000 words before it's completed, though-- there's an action-y gunfight bit at the beginning that I haven't written yet, and I'm not sure how long it's going to turn out. It features the return of a character not seen since the opening, which I just decided last night was the way to go-- still making at changes at this 11:59 hour!

Tomorrow I'll probably only have time to do 500 words, but Thurs. and Fri. I should have basically all day. I'm feeling confident that I can get it done on schedule.

Monday, January 27, 2014


646 words today.

14,721 for January.

107,036 for the draft.

So, there are four days left to the month, and I definitely have more than 2,000 words left to write. It's probably more like 3-4,000. I'd planned to bump up my goal to 750-1,000 words a day, but today I spent an hour on the phone with the health insurance people, and then I had to work, and then my car broke down while I was picking up The Son from school, and we sat in the lobby twiddling our thumbs until The Husband could get off work to pick us up. Bleagh.

Good thing I've decided to cut climax 2 by about half. The first climax has a lot of characters onstage, with danger and drama and weapons, and I'd packed the second climax with more of the same. I think it'll be a lot more effective if it's just a conversation between two adversaries that leads to the same moment of closure as the original version.

Now I just have to find the time to write it.

Sunday, January 26, 2014


502 for today.

14,075 for January.

106,390 for the draft.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


572 words for today.

13,573 for January.

105,888 for the draft.

Friday, January 24, 2014


507 words today.

13,001 in January.

105,316 in the draft.

I went back and added a short section after the sex scene. I skipped it in my anxiousness to get to The End, but I think it needs to be there. Then I jumped back to the climax build-up; Willa and Akenam are on a plane with a dozen genetically engineered soldiers, a missionary, and a three-legged dog, about to return to where the story began.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


689 words today.

12,494 for January.

104,809 words in the draft.

Warming up to the first big showdown.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


540 for today.

11,805 for January.

104,120 for the draft.

I finished the sex scene! And I think it doesn't suck (pun unintended).

On to the climaxes (um... pun unintended again). This mofo will be DONE by Feb. 1, or my name isn't PJ McSlackerson.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


509 today.

11,265 for January.

103,580 for the draft.

Things are, uh, proceeding with my sex scene.

Monday, January 20, 2014


643 words for today.

10,756 for January.

103,071 for the draft. Phew.

The way is clear for the three! last! big! scenes!  First up: a sex scene. Seems like it should be easy and fun to write, but it's damn tricky. The first draft version is pretty hideous. Since then, though, I have been fortunate enough to stumble upon author Stacia Kane's 25-part series on writing sex scenes, which   I can't recommend highly enough. I hope I've learned enough to pull it off. This is a big, life-changing moment for my characters, and I really want the scene to work.


Can you believe it?

Sunday, January 19, 2014


507 words today.

10,113 for January.

102,428 for the draft.

Today I would have kept writing past 500 if I could; I'm so close to end of this section and I'm anxious to get on with the BIG SCENES. However, I have an article deadline tomorrow, so working on that ate  up the rest of the day. The Son doesn't have school tomorrow, but I'm already planning to bribe him with a movie to give me a chance to write.

Saturday, January 18, 2014


506 for today.

9,606 for January.

101,921 for the draft.

Friday, January 17, 2014


527 words today.

9,100 for January.

101,415 for the draft.


Today I crawled and pecked my way through the words. It's the "good guys start to win" scene that follows the turning point of Act III. Most of the minor characters from the story are on stage at once, but there's not a lot of action. I don't want to dramatize all of it-- or even most of it-- but at the same time, I don't want to be like, "And then they all went into a room and negotiated treaties and agreed to join forces and ONWARD! to the climaxes!"

Thursday, January 16, 2014


544 for the day.

8,573 for January.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Mid-Month Report

Ha! Like I haven't been boring you with reports every damn day.

548 words today.

8,029 for January.

Assuming my estimations are correct (and I will cry fat tears if they are not), I am exactly on track to finish the draft by the end of the month. I am as stunned by this uncharacteristic bout of work ethic as anyone.

I passed 100K today, which makes me feel like a badass.

Do You Know What Happens When Your Document Hits 100,000 Words?

Your word count DISAPPEARS from the bottom tool bar! Arrrrrgggh!

This is not a catastrophe; just a pain in the ass I don't particularly need with 8K left in the second draft of my novel. I need to be able to keep track of my daily count! In the end, I cut the final scene and pasted into a new document (titled "second_draft2"), which leaves me with almost 3K of wiggle room to finish the scene I'm on before moving to The Owl Bearer Part 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Bah. WTF, Word for Mac? It never occurred to you that someone might use your program to write something with a six-digit word count?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Twenty-Three Chapters Done...

...including the final chapter, which I wrote immediately after I wrote the opening. I either have three or four more chapters to write, depending on where I decide to put the breaks.

604 words today.

7,481 for January so far.

Monday, January 13, 2014


534 words today.

6,877 words for January.

I strongly suspect that a lot of what I wrote today will get axed in the line edit. It's one of those little threads I thought would be really cool, but now that it's come to its completion I think it's cheesy and obvious. We'll see how it reads when I go through the draft.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


508 words today.

6,343 for January so far.

I'm still shuffling things around. I came to a part of my scene outline and realized that it belonged way back in Act II; it's important backstory info, but I had dropped it too late in the story. I've got no room for anything that's not directly related to the main plot.

The scenes and chapters are getting shorter as the end of the book approaches.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


529 words today.

5,835 words for January.

God willing and the creek don't rise, less than 10,000 words until "The End"!

Today I worked a long time for that 529 words of progress. I realized that some dialogue I'd planned for this scene belonged in an earlier one, and that some of the dialogue from that earlier scene belonged in this one. I spent a while switching it up and trimming it, and wound up -40 words from where I'd started. But I made it up!

Two more smallish scenes and then one omgBIG scene that I can't decide if I'm thrilled or terrified to write.


Forgot to mention last night that I passed the 90% mark!

I am stoked.

Friday, January 10, 2014


517 for the day. 

5,306 for the month so far.

Today I'm 1/3 through my Finish the Damn Book Already challenge, and so far I'm right on track.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


507 for the day.

4,789 for January so far.

Willa's past her catharsis and ready to kick ass again.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


517 for the day.

4,282 for January.

I wasn't sure how to start this chapter, and to my surprise it's wound up being a rather large chunk of angsty introspection. It might get cut in the final edits, but for now it feels organic to have it here. Willa's been kind of a pill for all of Act III thus far, and I've reached the moment where she starts to pull her shit together and comes to terms with the role she has to play... and also begins to acknowledge that her feelings for a certain someone (whose name starts with "A") are deeper than she's been admitting to herself. It's all pretty much bang-bang action from here on in, so this is really the last moment in the story I can spare 500 words for angsty internal monologue leading to epiphanies.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


697 for the day.

3,765 for January so far.

I'm on chapter twenty-two now. There's a bunch of stuff that I know needs to happen here, but I'm still not sure what order it's going to wind up in. I know how the chapter ends, and from there it's two little scenes, one big important scene, and the two-headed climax, a poignant farewell, and I am DONE done donedonedone.

Monday, January 6, 2014


505 words for the day.

3,068 for January.

I'm on the verge of finishing chapter twenty-one. Five more chapters to go-- but they're short ones, praise dog.

Sunday, January 5, 2014


516 for the day.

2,597 for the month so far.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


534 words today.

2,081 for the month so far.

My blog posts tend to be really dull in January. Sorry.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Thursday, January 2, 2014

1/2 Check-In

526 words for today.

I'm officially book-fatigued, people. I realized I got a small detail of plot point two wrong, and that if I change it to my better idea it also means adding a few lines to the scene I just finished... and maybe 2% of me was like, "Yay! A tiny way to make my book a tiny bit stronger!" while 98% was like, "UGH. Will this draft never END?!"

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Month, New Goal

The goal for 2014: finish the damn book already.

The goal for January: finish the damn draft.

To that end: 500 words a day.

Today's count: 502.