I know I’ve been scarce since my return from Florida, but I have a most excellent excuse. Behold — here’s the final Draft Zero progress on my steampunk novella about a runaway-slave- turned-air-pirate and his lost Confederate war dirigible, a mysterious doomsday weapon, and a disenfranchised southern spy who’s gone to work for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency — now with Bonus! military intrigue and a gentle old scientist who’s slowly losing his mind:
Project: The Clementine
New Words Written Today: 5486 (BOO-YAH)
New Words Written Since Last Report: 24,371
Present Total Word Count: 57,065
Goal: Well and truly exceeded on all points.
Fiction Things Accomplished: All of them. And a super-brief epilogue. (It’s the text of a telegram sent to Allan Pinkerton.)
Real Life Things Accomplished: Nibbled on cheese and crackers and holiday cookies all day. Eschewed the internet. Tore through the final chapters to achieve Draft Zero, which tickles me pink.
What’s Next: Next, I’m going to let it sit for 24 hours — then cut it down to a Draft One that I can pass on to Schafer. Ideally, I’d like to reduce the word count on this one by at least 5000 words (as I think some of the earlier sections are unnecessarily fluffed, and bits ought to be excised); and I’ll deliver this first solid draft on New Year’s Day.
Reason for Stopping: Excessive squee and general need to get away from my laptop.
Total Fiction Words Composed in 2008: 331,914 — Which will likely be my year-end total. It’s a respectable figure, if somewhat short of what I’d hoped. Still, I count myself a fairly happy camper. This is absolutely the most I’ve ever written in any given year of my life, and I’m frankly rather proud of myself.