In which the writer is working

So, I finished the unweaving and reweaving of the 67,000ish words of Neogeneis, which includes several thousand words of bridge-work, printed it out, and for the last couple days, the coon cats and I have been staked out on the couch, reading for continuity, sense, missing words/scenes, and inappropriate underlining (which become itals in the finished book).  We brought to this task, the Last Red Pen in the house, which was found to be dry, whereupon a blue pen was Pressed Into Service;  three stacks of sticky tabs:  yellow, purple, blue; a set of punctuation tabs; and the current working yellow pad.

The score thus far:  With 264 pages completed, and just 30 pages left to go, the yellow sticky tabs are no more; and a little better than half of the purple ones have been expended.  It’s a toss-up if I’ll have to tap the blue ones before the end of the story as it now stands.  Either way, sticky tabs and red pens are on the To Buy list.

The story hangs together as such, which is a relief — there’s really nothing more frustrating than a Better Idea that turns out, in practice, to not have been a good idea.

We usually set 100,000 words as the goal for a completed novel, which would mean that, at 67,000ish, BE (before edits), we’d be on the downslope, with only about 33,000 words left to write.

Given the rhythm of the piece already in hand, though, it really does seem as if we’re only a little past half-done.  So, we’re looking at a finished manuscript of 125/135,000 words, without “extras” such as lexicon or timeline.

Today, after I finish the last 30 pages, I will retire to my desktop, and start inputting the edits/correx/expansions.  Then, I can get to work on the scenes which are forced (duly noted on the yellow pad, and, err, other bits of scrap paper (hey! I don’t bring the yellow pad to dinner with me; unfortunately, I do bring the story)).

And that’s what’s been going on around the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.

In other news, after a brief remission, the cold has come back with a vengeance and an Attitude.  Ginger/lemon tea with honey will definitely be my beverage of choice, today.

I want to thank everyone who weighed in with recommendations re Niagara Falls.  I’ve done a little bit of research based on your data, and — yeah, the Canadian side really does seem like the place to be.  We’ll be there in early-mid August (if all goes well), which I guess is the middle of tourist season — and will be a change for us.  Our wedding anniversary is the second most frequent reason for us to travel, and that’s in November, after many Sights are closed for the season.  Being at a tourist attraction when everything is open will be exciting.

And now — back to work.  The coon cats and I will be on the couch.

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6 thoughts on “In which the writer is working”

  1. Thanks for letting us see part of the process of writing. I’ve often wondered how you weave everything together. “More than once” seems to be part of the answer! Cats, too. Cheers!

  2. Pepe and Piper rejoice in this news, and they have celebrated by having a thorough bath.

    In other news, while Pepe prefers sitting on a lap, he is also amenable to sitting on a chunky 1.5″ thick laptop hauled out of an obscure closet. It survived many transatlantic crossings from 2004-2009, as well as total neglect since then, and a rather substantial cat sitting on it today.

    I did not haul it out to serve as a perch for cats, contrary to local opinion, but rather to cross-check forgotten details on my CV for an academic job application Due Today.

    The likelihood that I’ll advance to the interview stage is about as slim (ha!) as 1.5″ thick laptops being in vogue again. This is unfortunate since getting the job would mean doing away with our semi-annual two day 20+ hr cross-country drive.

    The likelihood that we’ll read & enjoy Neogenesis is a much more sure bet. Just be sure you don’t end up afoul of cat labor laws. Contractual terms are very clear on their entitlement to attention on a frequent basis, wherein “frequent” is defined by the cat, not the clock.

  3. So Neogenesis looks to be fatter than the average book. That’s a good thing from this reader’s perspective!

  4. Re – Visiting Niagara Falls. As a Canadian, I will say visit the Canadian side (thought to be honest, I have not visited the US side other than to drive through it). The Falls and Gorge are spectacular. Niagara Falls the city is of course a tourist trap, with the older NF being a bit “carny” (as in carnival), particularly the wax museum. The newer NF is complete with trendy restaurants and big hotels. Since you are in the area, do step beyond the city of NF and visit: 1) The town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The main drag may be the prettiest little strip of stores, restaurants, and hotels in Canada. 2) The Shaw Festival, if you like theatre, also in Niagara-on-the-Lake. 3) Wineries. Many (oh so many) wineries in the area. Many with restaurants. Great for white wine. Getting better at reds.

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