Metrics! They’re back – and they’re back because today I officially began Draft Zero of the fourth Clockwork Century book, presently titled Ganymede. [:: throws confetti ::] [:: does a little dance ::] [:: begins the usual descent into insecurity and terror ::]

Today’s stats are not particularly impressive, I’ll be the first to grant you; but in my defense, the blank page is a soul-killer – so my first jab at a new project is almost always a smallish chunk. In fact, my first few days of work on something new are often likewise short from a word count standpoint, because it takes me a little time to switch headspace/character voices/POV from one project to the next – especially when I’m shifting gears between two very, very different stories (like I am right now).

But from smallish chunks do mighty drafts grow.

Therefore, this afternoon I give you progress on my Hunley version 4.0 submarine book about Andan Cly and his crew having a damp misadventure in a Texian-occupied New Orleans, plus Bonus! guerrilla warfare, other assorted historic pirates, and an octoroon madam who moonlights as a Union spy.

Project: Ganymede
Deadline: November 1, 2010
New words written: 806 [:: tiny cheer for tiny word count ::]
Present total word count: 806 words

Things accomplished in fiction: I think I’ve got my introduction underway. We begin our tale with two women sitting in a house of ill repute, where they are quietly discussing espionage, engineering theory, and the price of pirates.

Things accomplished in real life: Day-job work; writer business; surface-level housework; not much else. Mostly I just wrestled with this damn opener all day, doing a whole lot of deleting and rewriting until I finally stumbled upon something I felt I could work with.

Other: I get asked about my “writing process” a lot, and I never really know how to respond. My writing process consists almost entirely of “sit down for awhile and try to tell a story that doesn’t suck.” But this inevitably comes with a number of false starts. Sometimes those false starts work themselves out within a day – like today, or so I fervently hope. Sometimes I end up throwing away a lot more material as I get a better sense of how the story is going to feel – and how it ought to launch.

Other, redux: I feel pretty good about this beginning! So far, I mean. *gulp*

Total Official Word Count of 2010: 126,830 words