seanan_mcguire: (princess)
Total words: 102,828.
Chapters: Twenty-three, plus prologue and epilogue.
Pages: 354.

Reason for stopping: draft one is finished.
Music: my interview on SF Signal.
The cats: Lilly, floor; Alice, floor; Thomas, bed.

Did somebody get the number of that truck?

And once again: there you go. Draft one is done, and sent off to the Machete Squad for attack. I'm going to have edits. I'm going to have structural revisions. I think I may need to swap the epilogue out for something a little tighter (although wow am I close to the text right now, so hell if I know). I'm going to be working on this book for months to come. You know what? I'm feeling pretty good about that. Because the first Alex Price adventure is finished, and he pretty much rules.

I am exhausted and I feel sort of beaten, but the draft is done. Tonight, I will drink deep from the keg of victory. BRING ME THE FINEST MUFFINS AND BAGELS IN THE LAND!

Draft!
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Total words: 122,700.
Chapters: Thirty-one.
Pages: 412.

Reason for stopping: draft one is finished.
Music: Delta Rae.
The cats: Lilly, bed; Alice, unknown; Thomas, bed.

Did somebody get the number of that truck?

Well, there you go. Draft one is done. I have edits to process, corrections to make, structural elements to adjust, and lots and lots of trimming to do—the book is currently somewhere between five and eight thousand words longer than it needs to be, the length of a short story, if you wanted to write a short story made up mostly of "just," "that," and assorted wishy-washy modifiers. But the words are on the page to be mucked about with. The first draft is finished.

I am exhausted and I feel sort of beaten, but the draft is done. Tonight, I will drink deep from the keg of victory. BRING ME THE FINEST MUFFINS AND BAGELS IN THE LAND!

Draft!
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: ??/4,072.
Total words: 77,100.
Reason for stopping: it's time to put pants on and do the grocery shopping.
The cats: Lilly, orange cat tree; Alice, bed; Thomas, hallway floor.
Music: Little Big Town.

The odd format for the "number of words written today" section is because I've missed the last several posts, and I only know that I wrote 4,072 words today. But I don't want to give the impression so that this was a 12k day, and so I format it oddly to show that off. Hooray!

It's a little weird working on this book when book six just came out. For one thing, this is the first time ever that a book has been released while its sequel was still being written. So having Ashes of Honor so well-received has just upped the stakes on me. I think that's a good thing. I'm not going to change my story to make any specific person feel better, but I can motivate myself to earn those reviews again. Also, I can make Toby's life a living hell in the process. Everybody wins.

I will now get dressed and go out, and when I get home tonight, I'll see about finishing "Married In Green."

It's a good life.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 2,125.
Total words: 65,130.
Reason for stopping: I need to shower and finish packing.
The cats: Alice, eating; Thomas, unknown; Lilly, currently on top of my foot.
Music: Florence and the Machine.

So it's later than I like to be up, and I would have stopped half an hour ago if I hadn't needed to make word count. Which begs the question of "why are you making word count so late?" I'm glad you asked! I actually finished "In Sea-Salt Tears," which is a short story giving a little more background on Elizabeth Ryan, the Selkie clan leader we met at the end of One Salt Sea (and yes, the title similarity is intentional).

I really like this story, and even more, I really like being able to go and fill in things that Toby doesn't know, and doesn't need to know, because they're not her stories. She's not the only person who's ever lived in Faerie and had a story worth telling.

I am happy.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 2,208.
Total words: 63,005.
Reason for stopping: chapter fifteen is done, so I'm going to work on something else.
The cats: Alice, spare room floor; Thomas, kitchen sink; Lilly, parts unknown.
Music: random shuffle.

I could keep going, to be entirely honest: I know what the shape of the next chapter is, and I could push my way into it. But I wouldn't finish another chapter tonight, and I'd rather send this out to the Machete Squad now, while there's time for them to do something about it, than force my way onward and maybe not get them a draft until the weekend. So you see, I can be taught.

(Besides, the other thing I'm working on right now is potentially my "here, have a new book" reward, and that means I'm on a bit of a self-imposed deadline to get it wrapped up.)

I am really crazy-happy with how things are shaping up. I have the normal contradictions and conundrums of a first-draft book that's only a little over halfway done, but they're resolving themselves quickly, and it's a good story. I'm going to rock it.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 10,747.
Total words: 60,797.
Reason for stopping: it is so time for bed.
The cats: all over the house, in parts unknown.
Music: random shuffle.

Well, there you go: 10,000 word weekend, accomplished. Along with catching up on several TV shows, a trip to the flea market, and seeing Step Up Revolution before it left theaters. What can I say? I am a simple girl, and simple girls have simple needs. Needs which frequently encompass complicated dance numbers surrounded by a simplistic and easily-followed plot.

This book is now super-solidly underway, and I'm a little bit in love with it, which is exactly as it should be. Even assuming that it's 110,000 to 115,000 words long, I'm over the halfway point, and things are getting nicely complicated, with some twists that I don't think anybody will see coming. And of course, stuff is paying off, finally, after I've been setting it up for six books.

I am happy.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 2,762.
Total words: 50,050.
Reason for stopping: it's time for bed.
The cats: all three, on the bed.
Music: random shuffle.

I have this horrible suspicion that I'm like, 500 words from the end of the chapter, and if I just soldiered through, I'd be able to wrap chapter twelve up tonight. But that way lies madness. If I forced myself through 500 words without reaching the end, I'd try for another 500, and then it's two in the morning and I still have to be up at five for work. So I close the file for now, content in the knowledge that I broke 50,000 words tonight.

Oh, right: I BROKE 50,000 WORDS!!!!!

This is one of the big milestones, the point where there's enough written that abandoning the book is no longer an option; for right or for wrong, this is your foundation, now cope. I figure this book is going to be in the 109,000 to 116,000 word range, which is about average for a Toby book these days. So this is no longer the magical halfway point that it once was, but it's still a pretty big deal, and I should be able to get through another 10,000 words by the end of the weekend.

Progress!
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 4,164.
Total words: 47,288.
Reason for stopping: chapter eleven is finished, it's time for bed.
The cats: Alice, floor; Lilly, bed; Thomas, cat tree.
Music: random shuffle.

I am done with chapter eleven! I am all triumphant and stuff! Largely because now that I have most of the linear pieces in one place, I'm needing to move them around and introduce them to one another, and seriously, sometimes I am tempted to kill half my cast, just because I miss the simplicity of the early books. (I won't do that. I wouldn't do that. For me, the joy of these books is the interaction of the people. But that doesn't make it not frustrating to have to introduce eighteen people to each other every time someone new appears.)

I'll be working on Chimes at Midnight for the rest of the week, and I expect to pass the halfway mark before I go to bed on Sunday night. At that point, I can reassess the rest of my workload and determine whether this book gets another week right now, or whether I can switch over to Half-Off Ragnarok for a little while. And SymboGen is on the horizon...

A writer's work is never done. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 8,461.
Total words: 43,124.
Reason for stopping: time for Leverage.
The cats: Alice, floor; Lilly, bed; Thomas, floor in the other room (he's sulking).
Music: random shuffle, lots of Christian Kane.

So this is actually a weekend word count, rather than a day: I was in Portland this weekend, because reasons, and I spent a lot of my free time sitting in my hotel room, writing. But not as much as I would have spent if I'd actually been at home, which is why it's only 8k for the weekend. Regardless, I've made some good progress, and I'm up through the end of chapter ten, and that's a good thing.

I have a lot of big plot pieces that need to fit into this book, including a major antagonist, a secondary antagonist who's not like anything I've dealt with before, and some pretty big pay offs. So it's a juggling act here in the first draft, and I am crazy grateful for the tireless efforts of my Machete Squad, without whom I would literally be lost. SO VERY LOST.

Mind you, if I keep dropping chunks like this on their heads, I may wind up lost anyway, or at least messily murdered, but until then, I shall carry gleefully on.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 9,016.
Total words: 34,663.
Reason for stopping: Bedtime.
The cats: Alice, floor; Lilly, bed; Thomas, kitchen sink (literally).
Music: random shuffle, the Counting Crows.

9,000 words is a respectable day, even if it's several thousand words shy of yesterday, which was, let's face it, some kind of horrifying cosmic anomaly. I mean, no matter how you slice it, I just added 20,000+ words to this book in a single weekend, which means that most of the Machete Squad is probably going to want to bludgeon me to death when they open their email. Heh heh heh.

I'm trucking merrily along on this book, and the speed has helped to quell the freefall feeling of not knowing what in the hell I'm doing. I'm not supposed to know what in the hell I'm doing at this stage; that's what first drafts are for. The Squad will point out my rough spots, and I will fix them, and in the meantime, I could literally finish draft one by August first if I was able to continue at this pace. I can't, and I won't, but wow. It's really awesome to be in this position.

I was telling Brooke yesterday that it's weird to be in the books where things are starting to pay off. And it is weird. But it's also amazing.

I am so excited.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 14,505.
Total words: 25,647.
Reason for stopping: ...uh. I think my brain just ran out my ears.
The cats: All three, eating. Mom fed them to make them stop circling my ankles.
Music: random shuffle, mostly Glee MP3s and modern country.

Um. I appear to have just written more than 14,000 words in a single day, with a break in the middle to walk to the grocery store (and another break to eat dinner, a lovely salmon and nectarine salad). I just what I don't even what. I feel like this book got tired of living inside my head and decided to get out with a jackhammer, if that was what it took.

I also feel, sadly, like this is me finally finding equilibrium with being home all day (I had the memorial service, and then I had two sick days, when my body simply said "okay, that's it, we're done" and shut down). So I have hit my groove, I have found my sweet spot...and I get to go back to work on Monday. Which is going to reset things all over again.

But in the end, that's okay, because I added the equivalent of two full short stories to this book today. And I'm going to try to do the same, or close to the same, tomorrow, allowing me to spend Monday night working on actual short stories while the Machete Squad recoils in terror from their inboxes.

Bed now.

Bed FOREVER.
seanan_mcguire: (sarah)
Words: 2,231.
Total words: 10,248.
Reason for stopping: I have a really tight schedule tonight, and it's time to switch books.
The cats: Alice and Thomas, on the hallway floor; Lilly, asleep on my suitcase.
Music: lots of Counting Crows.

I don't actually like stopping mid-chapter when it's not to go to bed or something equally pressing, but I'm flying to Hawaii for a memorial service tomorrow, and that means I have a really full docket tonight. I have made word count on this book, I have two edit files to process and another book to work on, it is time to switch worlds. I'll use the first edit file as a palate cleanser, then work on the other book, then hopefully be awake enough to chunk through the second set of edits before bed. If I can't, I'll work on the plane.

I am happy with where this book is going. It's slow so far, but I'm not very far in, and I figure editing and revisions will tighten that up into something awesome and acceptable. And Alex is having long conversations with the mice.

I am happy.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 3,104.
Total words: 11,242.
Reason for stopping: I am out of go. Time to watch Eureka.
The cats: Alice, eating; Lilly, washing her toes; Thomas, elsewhere.
Music: random shuffle, lots of Jill Tracy.

So I didn't quite finish chapter three, but as I have left absolutely no time for the poor Machete Squad to cope with things, I'm okay with that. I have a very ambitious word count schedule for the rest of the week, largely because I'm going out of town for the weekend to attend a memorial, and I'd like to have things ready before I depart. This way, I figure I can send lots of files to be reviewed, and come home to lots of things to correct. Thus is the circle of authorial life maintained.

I'm still getting comfortable inside this book (although it took like six words for me to get comfortable inside of Toby's head, because I've been living there for so long that it's practically my second address). I'll be hitting the main plot soon, and in the meantime, I'm trying to work the exposition and reminders into the text in an organic way. It's fun! And brain-bending.

And that is why I am now going to go and watch television. A girl's got to get her recovery somewhere, right? Right.
seanan_mcguire: (sarah)
Words: 2,731.
Total words: 8,017.
Reason for stopping: chapter two is done, and it's time for dinner.
The cats: all cats are currently out of view, which is worrisome.
Music: still the soundtrack to Syfy's Monster Island. I am predictable.

Once again, I am proving the old adage that all it takes to get me writing again is a finished manuscript and the sucking terror that comes from having nothing immediately demanding my attention. (These are things I needed to be writing anyway, mind you. It's just that Parasite was such a huge chunk of text that it sort of blocked the pipeline for pretty much everything else.) So now here I am, once more hip-deep in InCryptid and loving every mucky, slime-covered step.

Half-Off Ragnarok is really interesting so far, because it's the first book from Alex's perspective. I can't help looking at the text and thinking "gosh, the Machete Squad is going to kill half of this," and at the same time, I can't tell you which half they're going to target, so I have to write it all. That's a good thing, honestly. It forces me to get used to Alex's voice, and the little quirks and oddities of his personality. He's my first (and so far, only) male narrator in this series, and so it's important to me that I get him right.

I am very excited about this expansion of my universe. You get to meet Grandma and Grandpa Baker properly, and see more of the actual ecology of the non-sapient cryptids and how they're able to remain under the radar of modern science. It's going to be a fun ride.

Whee!
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 4,059.
Total words: 8,138.
Reason for stopping: I finished chapter two! It's time for food.
The cats: Lilly, bed; Alice and Thomas, flopped over in the hallway.
Music: the soundtrack to Syfy's Monster Island, disturbingly enough.

4,000 words and a chapter—now that's more like it! The shape of the plot is starting to become apparent, and while we're not in the thick of things just yet, it's increasingly clear that yes, we're going to get there, whether we want to or not. (I want to, Toby, as you can probably guess, is not quite so enthusiastic about the idea. Poor Toby. She really never has nearly as easy a time of things as she wants to. If it were up to her, I would write an entire book where the most exciting thing that happened would be Quentin forgetting to put the toilet seat down.)

I think I'm really going to enjoy writing this book, now that I'm starting to get my claws into it properly. Better yet, I've finished some of the pending short fiction that was taking up space on my mental shelves, and that means my normal rotation (Toby, then InCryptid, then a third book) is reasserting itself. Life is good.

Also, this icon is my placeholder for books that don't have icons of their own yet, and I'm really excited to know that soon, I'll be able to swap it off of all my Ashes of Honor posts. Because I am that much of a nerd.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 2,211.
Total words: 4,089.
Reason for stopping: chapter one is finished! Time for So You Think You Can Dance.
Music: random shuffle, lots of Glee.
The cats: it's early yet, so they're off doing cat things.

Well, that's chapter one down. A little over 2,000 words for the night isn't awesome, but it's always slow-going in the beginning, when the story is just beginning to pick up steam and I'm still feeling my way into the situation. Honestly, just typing "chapter two" before closing the file made me want to weep for joy. I'm back. I'm in Toby's world, and I'm back. And more, I get to stay for at least three more books after this one, so I can unpack my things and really get comfortable.

There isn't too much I can say about what's going on, since Ashes of Honor isn't out yet and I try not to spoiler. But jam is involved, and also shirtlessness, coffee, and Toby not getting enough sleep. But isn't that always the way?

I'm back.
seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
Words: 1,878.
Total words: 1,878.
Reason for stopping: it's time for bed.
Music: the Rock of Ages soundtrack.
The cats: Alice, bed; Thomas, bed; Lilly, cat tree.

It's official: as of tonight, Chimes at Midnight is properly and officially started. I've hammered through most of chapter one, I've established the initial conflict that kicks everything else off, and I've remembered why I am so damn in love with this world and the people that it contains. I know some people are frustrated by the fact that I've gone down to one Toby book a year to make room for InCryptid, and while I desperately hope that someday I'll be able to be full-time and write three urban fantasies a year, there's a beautiful homecoming aspect after having taken this long of a break that's just plain magical. It's like...this is where I wanted to be, and I barely even knew it. It's amazing.

Tomorrow night, I'll knock out another thousand or so words of the Rose Marshall story I'm working on (it's for an anthology), and then I'll finish chapter one of Chimes at Midnight. And then I'll probably cry, because here we go again.

Here we go again.
seanan_mcguire: (midnight)
Current stats:

Words: 8,464.
Total words: 101,114.
Reason for stopping: I sort of, well, ran out of book.
Music: lots of things, mostly Dave and Tracy.
Lilly, Alice, and Thomas: bed, orange cat tree, and beige cat tree, respectively.

First draft stats:

Pages: 347
Chapters: twenty-five, plus a prologue and an epilogue
Started: November 2, 2010
Finished: February 18, 2012

So it turns out that finishing a Toby book and a Mira Grant book and doing lots of conventions and writing another Toby book and a couple of Mira Grant novellas and not sleeping makes me slow. Which is why this book took fifteen months to write (the first one took fourteen months, and I swore that this one would go faster). And yet. I am done with the first draft of Midnight Blue-Light Special, and Discount Armageddon is not yet on shelves, and that means I win.

I am so tired. I am physically and emotionally exhausted, and my eyes hurt because I cried through the last two chapters. But I am done. I am finished.

I will deal with a few pending edits and send the first draft to the Machete Squad tomorrow. But for right now? I sleep.

For right now, I win.
seanan_mcguire: (midnight)
Words: 35,287.
Total words: 92,654.
Reason for stopping: I need to eat a food.
Music: lots of dance music and modern country.
The cats: Alice, bed; Thomas, who knows; Lilly, guest bed.

So, uh. Yeah, I did not do all that in one night, but apparently I missed a few word count posts, so this is sort of getting me back into alignment. I actually wrote about 6,000 words tonight, after finishing my word count for "San Diego 2014" and realizing that I finally knew how to make the ending fall together the way that it's supposed to. Tomorrow night, I'll do the same thing (work on the project with a closer due date first, and then slide back into Verity's shoes for a little tango), and then this weekend, I'll probably type "THE END" on the draft as a whole.

It feels weird. Like, really weird. It's weird that I haven't finished it yet, and it's weird that it's so close to ending, because right now, this is it. I do not have a contract for book three, and whether I get one will be determined partially by how Discount Armageddon does. So this could be the end for me in this universe, and I'm not ready yet. I don't want to go. But the ending is here, and I have to let it be honest. I don't cheat. Not with things like this.

But it feels so weird. So, so weird.

I hope this isn't the end.
seanan_mcguire: (midnight)
Words: 12,732.
Total words: 57,367.
Reason for stopping: chapter fourteen is finished.
Music: lots of dance music and modern country.
The cats: Alice, bed; Thomas, floor; Lilly, cat tree.

I'm pretty sure I was actually supposed to work on something else today. In fact, I'm practically certain of it. But I kept going "oh, just another hundred words," and "oh, I'm almost to the end of this chapter," and the story kept rolling on, and then it was the end of chapter fourteen, and the day was basically over. This is what we call "writing what needs written," rather than "writing what the schedule says." It doesn't happen to me often, but oh, when it does...

When it does, it's magical.

Anyway, not much with the mice in this segment, so I don't have a new exultation, but I do have a lot more words (more than half a book now!), and I do feel pretty darn good about the whole situation. Soon, the second adventure of Verity Price and her insane friends will be in the bag. And that's awesome.

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