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
So! While I don’t have my official day-to-day/week-to-week schedule yet, as I’m still doing training, what I do have is a whole bunch of free time desperately in need of structure. I also have the skeleton of the whole volume of Tanner and Miranda stories, which is just as desperately in need of actually being fleshed out and, you know, finished.
It’s a perfect match.
From here on out, with “out” being the completion of the project, is to give you guys weekly updates during these Friday blog posts. Some weeks I’ll probably end up musing about one thing or another and just tacking on my updated word count at the end. Some weeks I’ll probably have an excerpt or two– we’ll see! With any luck, I should be able to finally get back into the habit of daily writing that I wasn’t able to keep up this last year, and with that I should also be able to finally make progress on actually finishing this story!
Tanner and Miranda Stories — Total Draft Wordcount*: 3715
I’ve spent my writing time this week trying to figure out how to harness Murphy’s Law for the next Tanner and Miranda story. It’s been so much fun, and and has mostly involved me writing lists for the plot with what should happen on one side and what actually happens on the other. I’ve also been cackling the entire time, which has drawn a few strange looks and worried glances, but oh well. At the risk of drawing even more worried glances, it’s been a rewarding process, and I’m excited to see the result of this embrace of absurdity.
This last week was… less than productive when it came to getting writing done, which was a little disheartening. That being said, I’ve had a chance to work on the overall structure, and while it’ll probably change again ten more times (at least!) I’m fairly happy with it at the moment. I plan to have ten chapters/stories in the completed novel, of which I have a rough draft of one, a good draft of a second, various bits and pieces of a few others, and at least a summary of everything else.
So! While I don’t have a new snippet for you all, I do have a table of contents. Take a look! It goes without saying that any and all of the titles could change, but for the time being, they fit well enough and along with all the notes I have scribbled for them in Scrivener, I know more or less where I want them to go.
1- The First Job 2- The Delivery Job 3- The Easy Job 4- The Track-down Job 5- The Ethan Lindsay Job 6- The Snatch-back Job 7- The Pro-bono Job 8- The Personal Job 9- The Rescue Job 10- The Dalton Job
PS: It finally happened. I missed a Friday update, and this is going up on Saturday morning. I’m backdating it so that it shows up where I want it to in the archives, but I definitely missed it. Alas.
With any luck, I’ll have a draft of a new chapter/short story completed for the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles by the end of the weekend. It’s currently sitting at about two thousand words, and the rest of it is at least roughly outlined. In the meantime, enjoy a snippet from right before our heroes manage to get themselves into all sorts of trouble. As they tend to do.
They’d chosen a good place to stop us. There might not have been anything understated about the method they’d chosen, but that wasn’t to say it wasn’t effective. The barrier crossed the entirety of the road, and with a cliff wall on one side and a steep dropoff on the other, we didn’t have a lot of options.
We could try diplomacy, of course. That was Tanner’s first choice, even if I hoped he was just using it to slow down the inevitable escalation. I’d have been more worried if he’d pulled his hand away from his rifle.
“Is there something we can do to help you folks?”
“You could drop Miss Loesan there off with us. I think we might even be able to move this thing off the road for you before we get started on our conversation with her.” The leader gave an ugly sort of sneer. “Think you could work with that? Looks like you’ve got cargo you’re moving, and it would be a shame if it never made it to where it’s supposed to go.”
That line might have worked on a different freelancer. Probably would have, actually; we were outnumbered two to one, and they were the ones with better cover. But it was the sort of thing that just made Tanner mad. Our chances of getting out without a scuffle dwindled before my eyes, and I started calculating how many shots I could get off before we’d have to make a run for it. I didn’t care for the odds.
“I think we both know that’s not going to happen,” said Tanner. “You got a better suggestion?”
Now he was definitely stalling, and I had seconds to come up with a better plan.
It’s not happening quickly, but I think the Tanner and Miranda stories are slowly coalescing into something with the vague form of a novel. There’s still a long way to go, but I’ve got decent outlines for almost all the stories I want to include in the “collection” masquerading as a full-length book, and that’s a great feeling. Now I just have to turn those outlines into a real story, and we’ll be good to go!
For today, here’s a snippet I wrote this week that I was particularly happy with. Enjoy!
“‘Adventure. Lots of it.’ Those were your exact words.”
I sat on the back of the rented hovermule, kicking my feet in the air and gnawing on the hard protein bar I’d grabbed as a sorry sort of breakfast. Off to the east, the sun rose up above the Badlands, casting long shadows and painting the planet a dusty yellow for miles around.
From his spot next to me Tanner grinned. “That sounds like something I’d say.”
“I feel so lied to.”
“We got attacked by the local wildlife within forty-eight hours of your arrival,” said Tanner, still grinning. “What more do you want?”
“So much,” I said. “So very much.”
This month has seen a bit more behind-the-scenes work with the structuring of the Tanner and Miranda stories… which makes it feel like I’m not getting as much done as I was last month–which is true, all things considered, but also okay. But, if I do it right, it’ll also make it a whole lot easier to get the whole thing out there and ready to be edited into a worthwhile second draft and beyond. So, while I work on that, enjoy the first paragraph of one of the stories that is currently getting figured out.
It was never a good sign when our room started looking more like an infirmary than just a place to sleep and keep our things. Despite appearances– the crutches leaned against the wall, the bandaging implements tossed on the table and over the back of the chair, the bottle of pain-killers on the nightstand– we did know what we were doing. We’d just had a hard run of it lately between me still being new to the planet and a bit of genuinely bad luck. What we really needed was something easy. A nice, simple job to get us back on our feet. Something that involved a little pay and even less getting shot at, and the more boring the better.