Vindication, Sadly

A while ago, I decided to stop tracking my word count. The negative number in the total column, which showed up every time I made a major cut, just depressed me. A couple of times, it made me reluctant to do what I knew I needed to do, and that’s a problem. So I stopped.

I spent the last week or so writing a couple of scenes. The second one got harder and harder to write as time went on, and I realized my problem was that the scene was boring. I went back to the preceding scene, to figure out what to follow it with, and realized that it didn’t work either, though in this case the problem was with story logistics.

So today I have to cut both scenes, and then I have to figure out what happens instead. 4k words, gone just like that.


Status Report

Well, let’s see: the entry in the PASIC contest is long gone, off to its coordinator. The big upside to that is it’s given me a synopsis I really like. It’s a bit on the long side, but I don’t think I can make it shorter without cutting the heart out of it, so I’m leaving it as is.

Right now, I’m working on revising the second and third chapters so I have a proposal ready to go — the first chapter has already been spiffed up for the contest. I think I’ll go through the rest of the book once chapters two and three are gleaming; things are shifting just a little bit and I need to align what I have.

Other than that, I’ve been thinking about the story and trying to figure out the events of the second half, the stuff that actually happens that tells the outward part of the story. The inward, character journey part I know. It’s just figuring out how that happens in the characters’ day-to-day lives that needs doing.

Struggle Diagnosis


Tonight, while I was standing outside waiting for the beloved to come pick me up, I started thinking about the scene I’m currently trying to write and I realized that part of the reason I have no words is that you don’t need words when you have nothing to say. There’s no scene in my imagination, no dreamed up passage from here to there, no journey from one point in the story to the next. More


I’m struggling a bit these days. Although it was less than a week ago, it seems like ages and ages since I wrote more than 200 words. Part of it might be that since that 1k day, my daily average has been about 200 words, or less than a page.

I know why I’m struggling: this is pretty much the midpoint of the story, and I’m stuck between wanting it to have enough oomph and not having any ideas — not one — for putting more oomph in. I’m worried that Ilsabet’s sojourn in Narthé’s aerie won’t seem nearly traumatic enough, but I’m not sure I can make it more traumatic without violating both characters. Initially, my thought was that she’d be in the aerie for a few days, but I can’t think how to write that without it being as dull as dirt.

The key thing here — and the thing that keeps me going — is that I don’t need to make absolutely sure right now that this is perfect. This is far from being my only chance to get this right. That’s why I think revision is a writer’s best friend — it’s your second, third, or even fourth chance to make your story everything it can be.

As of today, it looks like I’ll finish the first draft around the second week in June. I intend to let it rest for a couple of weeks before starting to look at it for revision — I need to get it out of my head. I might start planning the next story during those weeks — I can’t imagine anything doing a more effective job of cleaning my story palate.