Development diaries, 1-6-2015: Do what we tell you and we won’t kill you

theClaimDev

Another slow day — 2800 words between 9:12 and 12:35, the remaining 1300 between 2:30 and 4:15. Hit quota, but things are still really slow. I blame my tiny son (who woke up at 3:30 for a nurse and 5:30 for the day) and staying up past midnight getting the Wattpad and WriteOn bits set up for this project. More sleep tonight.

I started reading TRANSMETROPOLITAN at the impressionable age of 21, and Warren Ellis has left an indelible imprint on my consciousness—e.g., although the “process notes” thing is inspired by the Self-Publishing Podcast, the notes themselves partake strongly of MORNING, COMPUTER. And when the river of events hits an eddy, my instinct is often to goose the current along with a bit of weird and/or horrible humor:

YOU NOW ENTER THE SOUKTOWN OF JAGAAG
RUN BY THE CREDITOR ROOKS
OVERSEEN BY BOSS JOHN DREAM
PROPERTY OF IMAGINE-THE-DISMAY-OF-YOUR-CREDITORS
DO WHAT WE TELL YOU AND WE WON’T KILL YOU
PROBABLY

See also, “Claims administration hasn’t seen to a legality since that batshit Kerkakani drugged Michael and sold his clothes to that ladyboy bordello.” There is probably a really strong correlation in my fiction between horrible humor and me not knowing quite what to write next.

There are already structural problems coming up. Chapter 1 is presently over budget at 5825 words, and we haven’t even gotten through the big bar brawl. I think this problem is actually, in a weird way, compensated by another problem, which is the front-loading of the conversation between Kem and Esker about Esker’s marriage and his motivations. There’s not necessarily a reason this should come off as a problem to a reader at this point, but it’s giving too much away, too soon. So I think the first draft of Chapter 1 will be over budget, and at least part of that conversation will be surgically removed and sutured to a later chapter. Of course, that requires me to exert discipline in a later chapter. I’ll let you know how that goes.

I’m worrying that a lot of this is maid-and-butler dialogue—you know, “As you very well know, Jim…” Wrong thing to think about. More sleep. More words. More dream.

Speaking of which: Tomorrow, Boss John Dream strides through the tavern doors.

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