Thursday, June 22, 2006


I'm discovering that writing a novel is much like playing a slow-motion game of Tetris. As I'm writing along, oddly-shaped pieces of the story suddenly present themselves to me, and I have to figure out just how they fit. And fit they do, often in unexpected ways. But on occasion, when the unexpected piece is obvious in its role--the perfect element to make a particular sequence work--it also exposes holes I've left in the line of Tetris blocks several layers down. Holes I didn't know existed when that particular level (or chapter in this case) was written. The difference between playing Tetris and novel writing is that I get to go back and fill in those holes on my timetable. And last night's output--1,100 words or so--exposed several holes that, once filled, will make me look like a clever and shrewd plotter.
"Let me accompany you, Excellency. Please."

"I don't need your blade to finish this, Ctibor. Help our injured boys. That's where you can do the most good." She placed her hand on his cheek, cutting of his protest. Her thumb traced a znak. "You've acquitted yourself well, Ctibor. Your Rytír honor is fulfilled. Don't taint it with misplaced pride."

Ctibor lowered his head, and the twin blades of the krukh melted back into the hilt. "Yes, Excellency." Without another word, he ran to the coach.

Satisfied Ctibor would care for the wounded, the Tsukr turned, grim faced, and followed the Lidozrout into the Kostel.

"She can't... can't go after them alone," said Jachym as Ctibor returned.

"She's a Tsukr, boy. She can do any damn thing she wants."

For my reading this weekend at Apollocon I'm planning on doing a section from Wetsilver. In fact, I'm leaning toward a chapter excerpt in which the passage above concludes things. I read chapter 1 at Armadillocon last fall, and it generated positive response, so I'm anxious to test out this more action-oriented, multi-character sequence from deeper into the book to see how it plays to the masses.

Last night I reached the end of the current chapter, and instead of figuring total word count by adding that night's production to the previous total, I recalculated using the cumulative page count. The resulting additional 500-word jump is reflected in the progress meter below (just so you folks don't think I'm intentionally cheating or anything).

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
25,750 / 90,000

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