Development notes 1-5-15: The trees were bending in the wind

theClaimDev

This morning, I recycled my New Jersey Transit and SEPTA schedules. When I went outside to take the trash out, the trees were bending in the wind: Huge forces colliding, high and far away. It seemed like a good omen at the time.

These will be daily notes on the day’s writing. There will be wiring diagrams; there will be mood lighting. I’m still easing into the form. Like many academics, I get lyrical when I don’t quite know what I’m going to say.

Today I was obliged to work at Starbucks, or at least it seemed like a better idea with my sister-in-law puttering around the house; the desk is in the guest room, she’s a sociable soul, &c. The setup was: Scrivener in full-screen mode (that’s where I’m writing this, by the way; I may not close it until February), black coffee and white noise in blue headphones. I began at 8:34 and had 2400 words, the prologue, out by 11:55. That’s a low rate of speed, but focus was keen, and I was learning things. The book starts with three friends, all soldiers returning from a campaign; it would ease the reader in better if I could differentiate them by rank, so Tune turned from a private to a specialist, which means he needed something to specialize in. So he’s now a sapper, and there will be splode. I learned some new place names—Sun City, Logssor. I learned that standard issue in the Jaidari corps of halberdiers is a swordspear made of Logssor steel and Vale glyphwood, all rune-graven. I learned that the fire, lightning, force, and similar things that runeslingers manipulate with their staves are called “runic simples.” I wrote 20,000 words of this book in 2011 (all but the gist scrapped for present purposes) and I’m still learning its language. I am too old to learn languages, but no one else will do it for me.

I had a lunch engagement with my SIL at noon—she’s leaving town tomorrow—and some non-writing obligations for the afternoon, so I only wrote 300 words between noon and 8:30, but 1300 more were done by 10:00 and I made quota. Quota is 4100 tomorrow. This is what’s called “progressive loading.” The hope is that I’ll teach myself to write 6000 words in a morning by month’s end.

Wish me luck.

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