Not much new to report, so in lieu of an update, enjoy this quick snippet of Miranda waiting for something. Impatiently.
I groaned and slumped back in my seat. Orbital docking procedures were the worst. Actually, let met fix that. Orbital docking procedures on a colony planet that thought it was a big deal were the worst. There is nowhere in the galaxy that can quite match it for petty bureaucracy. Okay, fine. Anything remotely related to government procedures on Earth ran a close second, but Earth politicians weren’t the ones telling me it would probably be another hour before I got to dock with a space station that couldn’t have seen more than a dozen ships a day. It was nonsense.
Objectively, I could admit that the tone I had taken with the poor soul in Docking Control probably hadn’t helped my case. Problem was, I had lost all interested in being objective about forty-five minutes ago. At this point, every minute I had to wait was just another minute to practice the most scathing insults I could imagine.
Funny how the months just seem to keep going by faster and faster. I swear September just began!
Writing has gone a little slower, both because my brain and body needed a bit of a rest after August, but also because a couple things came up and kept me running around a little more often than usual. Which made me feel less guilty about taking the aforementioned writing down-time.
I’m still plugging along, though, and while I only have around a thousand new words written, I’ve also made some really good progress on figuring out a couple of major plot points that had been giving me a bit of trouble on the next story I’m working into this draft, which is really nice. I’ve been problems figuring out this particular story since last November when I tried to fit it into my NaNo draft, and I’m happy to announce that I’ve already gotten farther with it now than I did then. Progress!
The results are in: I wrote 55,097 words to my dad’s 824 miles ridden, so my dad wins! By a lot! It would have been closer, but he decided to ride over a hundred miles(!) on August 31. Because he could. Basically, he was the Captain America to my Falcon.
As we had agreed, this means that I owe him a finished manuscript of the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles, and he gets to choose what my project is for this upcoming NaNoWriMo. Which he has already done, so November will see more Tanner and Miranda– probably a single novel-length adventure instead of the episodic and semi-linked mini-adventures in a bigger arc that this first one is.
So! The plan is to use September to finish the rough draft, which I’m expecting to come in at roughly 125,000-150,000 words. Which is about twice as long as I’m hoping it to be when I’m done, meaning I’ll have lots of material to work with and cut from. Then, in October, I’ll break type and actually try to fully plan out the beats for the November project, in the hopes that I come out of NaNo with an actual rough draft as opposed to the… pre-rough draft nonsense jumble that I usually end up with. Or maybe that’s wishful thinking. I guess we’ll find out!
In the meantime, here’s some stats from this last month that I found interesting!
Most words written: 10,081 (August 28) Most miles ridden: 106 (August 31) Fewest words written*: 63 (August 1) Fewest miles ridden*: 9 (August 14) Average words written*: 2395 Average miles ridden*: 36
You know that scene in Tangled right after Rapunzel gets out of the tower? The one where she bounces back and forth between thinking it’s the very best and the very worst thing ever? I’m definitely feeling that a little bit (a lot a bit) right now. Because I’ve finally hit a groove. The words are coming. The story is coming together– sort of. (Oh BOY does it need all the editing ever.) And I have actually started writing fast enough that my hands have gotten tired. Since this time last week, I’ve written almost 35,000 words. I know where I want the major story arc for the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles to go, and I think I have some idea of how to get it there. I have so much raw material to work with. And most of the time, I’m not even panicking about the fact that the quality is… aggressively rough draft right now.
Most of the time. Haha.
Check back in next week to see how this crazy race with my dad finishes up! Right now he’s still ahead, but I’m gaining! Is three more days enough? Is his competitive spirit going to beat out mine? Only time will tell!
Guys! I’m so excited! No, I haven’t caught up to my Dad. (Yet!) But I’ve got a writing momentum that I haven’t had in months, and that I can’t remember having outside of NaNoWriMo. Which isn’t to say that everything I’m writing is gold– because I’m not a superhero. Or Ray Bradbury, which is basically the same thing. In fact, it’s kind of terrible– in a distinctly rough draft-ish sort of way. Which is great! Because that’s what this is.
Because you can’t edit it if it’s not on the page first. And for the first time in way too long, I’m okay with that.
It’s so nice to feel like the bones of a story are decently solid. Most of what I’ve been doing so far this month is “editing”/fleshing out some sections that I’d already done some scribblings on, and the result has been very encouraging, if still moving slower than I’d like it to be, ideally. I’m proud of a couple turns of phrase in particular, actually, so by way of showing off, I’m including a quick excerpt below. Those of you who have been following me for a while might recognize this as very similar to the beginning of The Verdant Wildlife, which is because I’m in the process of completely reworking it so that it can take its place as the first story in the upcoming novel.
Anyway, without further ado, here is the promised snippet.
Our client had arranged to meet up with us at a small mining outpost near the drone’s last known coordinates and had offered to transport us out there on one of her company’s atmo-sprinters. It was a welcome gesture that cut our travel time down to a fraction of what it would have been otherwise. I spent the half-hour ride alternately teasing my brother and staring out the window as semi-developed plains gave way to wild cliffs and canyons.
Even before the sprinter’s pilot started edging the craft down between a couple of jagged cliffs, there was little doubt in my mind that our destination was less a spur of civilization than a small collection of humans trying to do without it. In Coville, I’d gotten the impression that the occasional showdown at high noon was a distinct possibility. Looking down at the approaching outpost, I would have been more surprised to find that such confrontations didn’t happen there with some regularity.
I leaned towards my brother. “I thought you said we weren’t going to get shot at. This looks like the sort of place that gets us shot at.”
“What, the mining camp?” He looked out his own window. “Good thing we won’t be spending much time there.”
I scowled. Now that our hike was more imminent, I found myself less excited about the prospect of tramping around the wilds of a new planet than I had been the day before. And given that I hadn’t been all that enthusiastic about it in the first place, that was saying something.
Tanner winked at me. “It’ll be fun. Like those trips we took growing up.”
I grunted, non-committal. “I hadn’t spent the last eight months crossing the galaxy when we hiked the Sierras.”
“We won’t be moving too fast. There’s a ton of nooks and crannies out here, and that drone could have crashed in any of them. You’ll be fine.” The look on his face was the same one he’d worn when he’d suckered me into exploring an old “haunted” warehouse with him. At night. About three weeks after I’d pranked him in front of all his buddies. But bringing that up wasn’t going to do me any good.
“Congratulations,” I said. “You just managed to make me feel better and worse at the same time.”
He winked. “I aim to please.”
Lucky for him and despite my complaining, I did still enjoy a good hike, if not under these exact circumstances. Not that I’d be caught dead admitting that to him just now.
Not much to report, so far, save that I am definitely running behind for Camp, but I’m optimistic! Reaching my 75K word goal will be a… challenge. But I like a good challenge– and I have a couple of days coming up that I plan to use for writing and pretty much nothing else. Check back next week to see how it goes!
In the meantime, anyone else doing Camp this July? How are your projects doing? How are you doing?
It’s July, also known in some circles as one of two Camp NaNoWriMo events. Personally, I’ve always had great success in November, with all its official 30-days-50,000-words madness, but every time I’ve attempted to do a smaller project (or at least one with less ambitious goals) for one of the Camps, I forget that I’m participating half a week in and don’t make much progress at all. So this month, I’m trying something different.
Based on the theory that it doesn’t go well for me because it’s too small a goal, I went the other way and am going to attempt 75,000 words in the month of July. On Tanner and Miranda, of course.
I’ll let you know how it goes. Best case scenario? I finally finish that draft I’ve been poking with a stick since last November!
Miranda doesn’t like horses. I don’t remember when I decided that– or, perhaps more accurately, when I discovered that. But my snarky, feisty, pugnacious little freelancer really doesn’t care for the big animals. Which I find amusing. Mostly because I personally never outgrew the horse-nut phase that most(?) girls seem to go through.
So, here’s a snippet of our fearless narrator being not quite so fearless. Because I think it’s funny.
Knickers was a sturdy gelding, colored chestnut and with a bald face— which I found out when I referred to him as “the brown one”. The other, Jitterbug, was a rangy pinto who looked calm enough, except that I swear I saw her giving me and Tanner a sly look as if she knew that one of us would be riding her. I expected her to start trouble before Tanner could even mount up. She didn’t, and honestly, that was worse. It meant she was going to wait until it would cause the most problems, and then she would do it. And she would think it was funny. And she’d probably bring Knickers in on it as well.
Whatever it was.
It crossed my mind that I might be being paranoid, but that was ridiculous. I just remembered the horses on Auntie Heather’s ranch a little too well.
Whatever the big animals’ intentions for us down the road, though, they didn’t act on any devious compulsions just then. Knickers stood perfectly still as I climbed into the saddle. Jitterbug pawed the ground once or twice as Tanner settled in, but that was all. In less than five minutes, we were on our way.
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount: 4655 Weekly Wordcount: 211
I don’t usually write by hand. Probably by long practice, the words usually come easier when I’m typing, and my thought process seems a little more streamlined. Usually, at any rate. This week, though, was an exception to the rule– thanks in no small part to the fact that I had a lot of downtime at work, forgot my book, but did have paper and pen.
And I might have to try to do it more often. Because the stuff I scribbled down was rough and jumbled, but when I typed it up and cleaned it up a little, I’m actually pretty happy with it.
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount: 4444 Weekly Wordcount: 729