In the past six weeks, I have written roughly 120,000 words, counting work on short stories, novels and pitches. Not counting blog posts, because…eh. I tend to treat my blog as either a warm-up or a cool-down exercise, so it wouldn’t be fair to count it. I feel bad enough including the pitches, frankly.
ANYWAY. I’m currently 35K into the Novel-With-No-Name. Five thousand more words and I can send an invoice for the midway draft. Always something to look forward to. Characters live, characters die, the world turns and adventure is everywhere.
On the short story front, I have begun a submission for anthology I was invited to last year, but mostly forgot about until last month. Luckily, the deadline is mid-March, so there’s plenty of time to rattle something entertaining off. It involves a millenia-old conspiracy of wizards, a diabolical occultist, and the Great Fire of London. Also Paracelsus, because everything’s better with Paracelsus. The story is tentatively titled “Scholar’s Fire”, though I reserve the right to change it if I think of something better. I’m around 3K into what will likely be a 4-5K story.
I’m aiming for a lower word count with this one, mostly for story reasons. The guidelines asked for exciting and action-y stories, and those tend to be more effective in short bursts, in my opinion. Bit of set-up, bit of background–historical and otherwise–threaded through the opening action and then an explosive conclusion. Like an adrenaline shot delivered via the eyeballs.
I also managed to get some work done on The Sea Leopard last week…almost 6K worth, which was nice. There’s something to be said for not having a deadline on a project like this. I’m free to work on it when I have the spare time, rather than trying to snap it out yesterday. Which means that A) sometimes I don’t work on it for days at a time and B) I have more time to think about what I’m putting down on the page. Which is helpful, given that it’s a book about a clash of cultures, political skulduggery and smart people all moving in opposition to one another. I’d like to think it’s a deep book, but I suspect that it’s more a case of it being deep for me. Even so, I’m enjoying working on it, which is a bit of a relief after last year, where I enjoyed literally nothing I wrote.
To cap this post off, here’s a look at my current daily M-F schedule:
7:00-8:00–answer e-mails, Twitter, blog posts, etc.
8:00-11:00–work on B Project (i.e. a short story, The Sea-Leopard, etc.)
12:00-3:00–work on A Project (i.e. the Novel-With-No-Name)
3:00-6:00–answer e-mails, Twitter, blog posts, Skype with editors, etc.
7:00–10:00–research, pitches, contracts and editing
On occasion I mix things up a bit, depending on how quickly I get things done. I generally aim for 2K-per-day, per project, and sometimes I get that done in an hour or two. Sometimes it takes a bit longer. My schedule tends to be looser over the weekend, depending on deadlines and the like.
So that’s what I’m working on. How about you?