Monday, February 05, 2007


The Day's Progress - Monday Edition

I moved the goal posts today. It's become increasingly clear that this book is going to be a mite longer than the 100K I'd originally thought, and much longer than the 90K I at least hoped I'd make. Elizabeth Bear said something typically insightful yesterday, talking about her own work-in-progress.
I have switched over from "I'm never going to invent enough plot to fill up this book" to "How the heck am I supposed to cram what's left into 157 pages?"
The specific page numbers aside, that's me to a T. I always start a project convinced I'll never be able to find enough stuff to fill a book, and invariably find myself at some point wondering how I'm ever going to make everything fit. Even though I'm only on the first of three acts, I'm already at that point, since this first act has run so much longer than anticipated. Yeesh. So, after a quick confab with my editor, I've moved the wordlength out from 100K to 120K. It may end up even a bit longer than that, but that's my goal.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
40,771 / 120,000

Today's sample comes a bit after Artor and his men have met the White Phantom, who gave them all sorts of useful weapons and such, in time-honored fashion. They've marched a bit further into the Summer Lands, and decided to make camp near a stream.
“Look!” Bedwyr shouted, and pointed across the stream.

The others followed his gaze, and there on the far side of the stream they saw a group of people standing. At this distance, it was difficult to make out any details, too much obscured in the diffuse twilight, but Galaad could see that they were men, and not giant monsters like those they had faced on the shore.

The captains laid their hands on their weapons, warily, and hurried to the stream’s edge.

“Halloo,” Artor called, cupping his hands around his mouth like a trumpet. “Are you friend or foe?”

There were seven of the strangers, Galaad now saw, all facing away from the stream, their backs to Artor and his men. One glanced over his shoulder at them, but did not speak. Then he looked away, and the seven strangers waded backwards into the stream.

“What madness...?” Caius began.

When the last of the strangers had backed into the stream, a kind of haze appeared before Galaad’s eyes, and when it cleared the strangers had disappeared from view.

Artor ordered the captains to keep careful watch on the stream, in case the strangers had submerged and swum to their side, but the waters of the stream remained undisturbed, and there was no further sign of the strangers.

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