Taking Stock: August 2016

So August is done and September is here! So where am I, especially in light of the goals I’ve espoused for the next chunk of time?

Well, in August I wrote 32,474 words for an average output of 1047 words a day. That ain’t bad, especially considering that I had several days of very low output and one outright zero-words day (owing to an overnight trip we took to attend the Sterling Renaissance Festival and to go to the Erie County Fair). There were also some struggle-days as I wrestled with the climax of Through the Pale Door, but I eventually figured most of that out and got the thing finished. So I had set my deadline to finish that draft at August 31, and I just made it. Huzzah! I even had time to leave myself some editing notes, because this draft is, shall we say, lumpy. It’s going to need some heavy lifting at edit-time to get it seaworthy. But that’s OK.

With two-thirds of the year gone, and with my favorite time of year stepping up to the plate, where am I for 2016? Well, as of August 31 I have written over 241,000 words of fiction (not including blogging, tweeting, Facebook babbling, and stuff on Tumblr), and I have written the words “THE END” twice, which is nice. It’s good that I’ve found the one area of life where I can be considered a workaholic, I suppose.

So what’s next? Well, the next “big” thing I want to do is the first book in my new space opera series (which doesn’t have a title, or even a Not-the-actual-title, yet). I don’t have enough of the background work done on that book yet, though, to get into it, and in any event, I kind of want to save that project for this year’s NaNoWriMo, in which I will attempt to break past my .500 record for the last four years. (I opened my NaNo career with wins in 2012 and 2013, but I lost in 2014 and 2015.) However, I don’t want to draft nothing at all in the two-month meantime (and I’m still waiting for beta-reads and editing notes to come back on Amongst the Stars), so…I’m trying something different.

[ASIDE: Hey, as of RIGHT NOW AS I WRITE THIS, I’ve come up with the Not-the-Actual-Title for the new space opera book. It will be code-named Lightning Bug, for reasons that are totally NOT obvious in ANY way. Uh-uh.]

Or I’m returning to something old. Depends on which way you look at it.

My first NaNoWriMo project was a supernatural adventure story involving a doomed kayaking expedition to a legendarily impossible-to-run river in the northern Yukon. While I got about 70,000 words written of it, I had to set it aside after a while because I wasn’t sure where it was going and I was up against the need to edit Stardancer, which I was on the verge of releasing – or maybe I felt the need to get going on The Wisdomfold Path – hmmm, I’m not really sure, maybe it was both. Anyway, this story never got finished, so I’m taking another whack at it right now, with an eye to keeping it short. Or at least, short for me.

Between September and October, I have sixty-one days to work with, because on November 1 I will be starting Lightning Bug (not the actual title), and I’d like to not have another unfinished version of the same story sitting out there. So my goal is to bring this story in under 60,000 words. At my usual 1000 words/day quota, I should have just enough time to pull this off. I usually don’t worry so much about word-count goals, but this is a new challenge, and new challenges are pretty cool, aren’t they?

It helps that I have the previous draft to use as reference. I am reworking quite a bit of it, albeit typing it anew rather than trying to edit the old. Once this is done, well, who knows. But it’ll be another story of mine in the hopper, awaiting a future engagement.

And just think, someday you lucky folks will be able to read all this stuff! That’s why I’m doing all this.

So, if you’ll excuse me….

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