And not a pink rabbit in sight, let alone banging a drum. No, the new book is now at 68,000+ words, despite a real solid computer scare Sunday/Monday (now resolved, and no files lost.) It demanded that I do my daily words Monday after getting home from the computer fixit place and reconnecting everything and doing other stuff that needed doing, though never all of it. And then today gave me the first 2000 word day in many many months.
So what do we have here besides no title yet (anyone got a clever idea for a title to follow Cold Welcome?) Well, this is about where mid main draft *should* be, and it’s feeling like set-up is all there, and the various gears are beginning to mesh with one another. It’s a “loose” first draft (technical term specific to this writer) which means there are gaps to be filled and also long talky sections that need to be snugged in…right now they’re like a piece of draped fabric that is blowing in the wind more than the designer thinks is appropriate.
For instance today: I got involved in the second work period with a character needing to convey some information to someone else, but in the middle of that the person the character was talking to needed to make a secure call to someone else, and the character (the first one) started watching some kind of ball game and eating bar snacks provided by the second character, and suddenly it was all falling apart like a badly made sandwich, bits of story and character slithering out to land inartistically on the floor. The character is sound (has been around long enough to know that) and necessary (the person who *would* have that particular chunk of information the second character needs) and the reason the second character is in that place makes reasonable sense (I thought it was perfect sense when the scene of information sharing was in the setup phase, but maybe not?), and the motivations of A, B, and C were driving everything strongly until. Until what? That ball game and those bar snacks. (And I spent some time imagining what kind of bar snacks they would have on that planet in that era.)
So the bar snacks and the ball game, which were OK earlier as background window-dressing when A went into a local dive for a beer because that’s what A did after work almost every day, are not OK in the other scene and will have to come out or…be fixed somehow. I’m not in love with them; they’re a way to occupy A while B makes that secure call. A could watch the news, or a favorite drama series, or maybe there’s a chess set in the room and A could fiddle with it but doesn’t know how to play….something. A isn’t the type to eavesdrop, but is becoming anxious now that the information’s delivered and B is taking it so seriously–A has to have something to distract A-self with.
I can’t stay up tonight to mess with it, as I have choir tomorrow and will need to head for the city in early afternoon if possible. Choir means a late night with the long drive in and the long drive out after dark and lot of intellectual energy spent reading unfamiliar music under an exacting director. And tomorrow should produce its own squirt of words added to the file. Editing, I remind myself, comes later. First create the stone, then carve the sculpture. Ideally, create the stone already pretty much in the right shape.
The Plot Daemon is fairly happy with the Captain right now, as long as the Captain stays out of the boiler-room and doesn’t ask awkward questions like “Yes, but what happened next and next and next and next?” One next at a time. One day at a time. One layer of stone created where it seems like it needs to go.
There should be another Interlude later this week, if all goes well. A few characters are feeling aggrieved that they’re being put in peril but not paid the same as the principle characters.