Here’s today’s 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.
Deadline: November 1, 2010
New words written: 3166 (respectable)
Present total word count: 17,289 words
Things accomplished in fiction: Hung out at the Cafe du Monde and had tactical discussions re: continued attempt to locate suitable pilot; spotted a couple of juicy espionage-subjects strolling into the bad part of town, and followed them like a good spy; overheard interesting things, realized that trouble was definitely a’brewing … not in a giant military sense, but in an impending zombie moment sense, because this is MY alternate-history version of New Orleans and I can have zombies in it if I want to, so there.
Things accomplished in real life: Day-job work; daily run/climb during which I was assaulted by a rat falling from a tree and there was a lot of screaming and flailing; had a much nicer freak-out when I noticed that George was plugging the Fort Freak excerpt; learned that German rights had sold on Boneshaker and posted accordingly; exchanged numerous writer-business emails and plotted the second of two important writer-business phone calls next week; looked up from my work around 6:00 and wondered where the day had gone.
Other: Today’s word count isn’t enough to make up for yesterday’s crappy one, but I’m satisfied with it for the moment – largely due to a goal change. Usually, I try to do 2000 words a day, bare minimum, and any more than that is gravy. I calculate my ability to meet deadlines using this formula. (Usually plotting it as 2K a day, 6 days out of 7 – because sometimes, stuff happens, you know?) I think I’m going to have to bump it up to 3000 words a day before I pat myself on the back. It’s not that much more, and I think it’s totally do-able. I know it’ll be hard, but that’s all right. This is my job. Sometimes work is hard. And to paraphrase the bard (or Tom Hanks, anyway – from A League of Their Own): Of course it’s hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it.
Other, Part Deux: Confidential to Anal Retentive – If you’re a huuuuge stickler for historical detail, maybe Boneshaker isn’t the book for you. And that’s okay. I’m just sayin’.
Total Official Word Count of 2010: 143,277 words