Development diaries, 1-8-2015: A Weird West novel of manners

theClaimDev

Today felt really slow—4300 words between 9:00 and 3:10, with an hour break for some kettlebell swings and lunch. So, actually, about 5:10 clocked for about 800 words/hour, which I think is about where I’ve been. I think I can do better, but it probably would have involved planning more beforehand (cue chiding from @ABEhrhardt).

Chapter 2 is definitely over budget—all 4300 words went into it, putting it at 6800+ (it’s done). I have to keep reminding myself this is only relevant for January; once it’s published, no one is going to be annoyed if THE CLAIM is 60,000 words instead of 50,000.

A lot of new things learned today, though. The encounter with the Chorister wasn’t mapped out nearly so well, nor the conversations with Hasina, Kem, and Ozier later. I think I was reasonably deft about drawing out some tensions—Kem’s insecurity about Esker’s intimacy with Hasina, Ozier’s high-class obliviousness, everyone’s uncertainty about Esker’s sexuality. We’ll see if that impression survives revision.

I’m worrying that I’m trying to do too much in too little space. I’ve talked about this in the essays, but Chapter 2 is really driving it home—am I really trying to write a Weird West novel of manners in the flashbacks? Is that a good idea? It’s kind of liberating that it doesn’t matter. I mean, it matters, but not right now. I have two novels planned out, sixteen more days to write them, and I have no time to be irresolute.

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