I’m a little late posting this. I intended to post once a week but I am notorious for forgetting there are things I meant to do, it’s a case of mild senility associated with memory issues compounded by spawn-based distraction. But enough of that… it’s beside the point. Down to business.
So, how am I doing thus far? Despite my somewhat pathetic whinge at the beginning of the write-a-thon two weeks ago, I’m pleased to say I have smashed my goal of 8k a week by at least 1k+ each time! Yes. I am ploughing forward with progress every week, if not every single day. Putting aside daily targets has been the making of my progress with this. Instead of getting all het up about hitting a particular amount of words a day, I’m making a point of stopping to think through and plan when I feel blocked or lost and lo, the next day or two doth bring a veritable plethora of words forth. I am really liking the planning lark, in case you hadn’t guessed.
All in I am 19,631 words in to Codename:Steel-toe and it’s solid progress thus far. The beginning of the book, the opening act as it were, started out a little rough I’ll grant you, but a planning session following on the heels of a pretty darned bloody wrestle with a scene that just would not play ball resulted in a complete re-hash of events and some much-needed action and tension being added. I’m really digging the additions that I’ve written on the back of that planning, they open out the world and introduce some great characters who’ll feature throughout.
What’s next? Well, more of the same. If I can keep this momentum up then I’ll have at least half this puppy written by the end. I am, of course, hoping to have some really productive weeks, as I want to get it done and dusted but, er, I’m going to have to work up to being one of those mad-speedy writers. If I nail the four month novel for this one then I’ll be a happy bunny, as that’ll mean I can work toward producing at least two quality novels a year, and several quality short stories. And quality is my watchword. I’d rather that over quantity, though I acknowledge that writers who want to make their mark (and I do) need to work on producing a decent quantity of quality writing.
Anyway, so y’all can smell a little of what it is I’ve been cooking, I thought I’d post a little snippet. Hard to choose, because this is a sequel and, er, the first is not out and not likely to be out for a good long while, so I don’t want to give anything away. After much gnawing of the lip and reading I’ve managed to pull this out for your delectation, this is in Nia’s POV (and yes I stick to one POV per scene – so ner), you’ll get to know her in Coil and she features fairly prominently in Codename:Steel-toe too:
She strips off her scrubs and gloves, snags her coat, leaves a gawp-faced Peel in her wake as she slams out of the Mort with Stark. Leaving is like dumping a whole skyscraper worth of weight, and she has to restrain a scream of relief as they exit to several feet of fresh snow, the bite of harsh wind, the distant chatter of bullets echoing across the Wern. Nia stops to listen for a moment, the usual unease rolling over in her gut at the sounds of violence, so far but getting closer every day.
The Canted on Gyre West have been on the alert for two weeks, perhaps a little longer; edgy, nervous, devoid of even a hint of their usual charm toward her. It unsettles her. It’s not as if she enjoyed the attention, arising as it did from blood connections she cant help, has no great pride in. Some things, though, unseat by their cessation, and the change in Canted attitude toward her sits firmly in that arena. She’d ask Spaz what’s going on, but she’s not entirely sure she wants to know. There’s been enough stealing her sleep, her joy, of late. She can do without more.
There we go. First draft type shizzle, but not so bad I want to throw it in a meat grinder and press ‘pulverise’. It also mentions two other pretty prominent characters: Stark and Spaz. Yes, I know they both begin with ‘S’ but by thunder you’d have to drag me kicking and screaming across a rocky delta behind a herd of rabid mammoth to make me change them. They are who they are, and you’ll read enough of them in context of their own scenes to tell them apart with ease, they’re very different chaps. Besides, those have been these names forever, and it’s the same for Nia.
These characters have been with me for ten years, and when I finished telling the first part of the story in ‘Coil’ (in a year, not ten BTW, because I knew I couldn’t write it until I could write properly, so I waited), I was totally fucking buzzed to realise that there was more story to tell, the story behind the events of Coil, the bigger picture. It’s enabled me to carry on hanging out with these guys in my head, which frankly rocks, and I do hope the whole story isn’t told in no2 (which it probably won’t as there’s enough going on in no2), because then the nebulous idea that thinks it might be book 3 will get to come out and play, too, and I’ll get to hang out even longer with these old friends.
I’m not normally so sentimental, but I’ve eaten Bunny Haribo – makes fluffy, twitchy-nosed cuteness out of the gnarliest mo-fo to rock a hooded, evil leer and a spiked knuckle-duster machete (disclaimer: I refer to neither myself, nor Burzum). *sob* *sniffle* *blows nose* Yes, so, tough arse mofo, that’s me. Rarrrgggghhh, etc etc… not sentimentally attached to these characters at all. *sleight of hand* Look, a flying monkey circus doing aerial acrobatics with sticks of dynamite! *scarpers*
I thank you for your time and hope you enjoyed this little update, verily, comment uponeth it shouldst the mood taketh thee! And if thou dost fancy, go forth and sponsor my write-a-thonic journey here: Ren’s Kick-arse Write-a-thon Profile