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I'm awake, yes I am!

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The man with a plan. For now.

So here's the plan for getting this novel drafted. I figure it'll be about 70,000 words for the first draft, so I'm shooting for getting that done by March 31st.

I did some thinking about the plot and fiddled with the outline a bit this weekend, and starting today I'm hoping to do 4 new pages each day, or about 1,000 words. That gives me a little bit of wiggle room (and hey, good thing it's a leap year -- that gives me another day in February).

Then I'll let it sit for a few weeks, do some other stuff, and start revising it like crazy for another three months or so. Maybe throw it to some first readers at that point.

Then revise and rework and tweak, all part of my new-fangled, but mostly-tried-and-true novel-writing process. By the end of summer, I should have a nice, polished draft to send off to Sean at Prime Books.

Here's a snippet of the very first chapter, which I like so much I'm pretty sure I'll have to cut it out of the final version, once I'm ready to revise:

Kaitlin stood in the weak yellow light coming from the lamp teetering on the bare floor next to her and pressed the knife exactly three-eighths of an inch into the wall of her spare room. Her shadow moved with her on the top half of the wall and stretched onto the ceiling -- a silent, distorted companion. Whenever she felt that tiny popping sensation of blade breaking through thick drywall paper, then slicing into the cool, smooth gypsum inside, she felt a fleeting instant of guilt. Security deposit, her mind often reminded her, then Kaitlin pushed the X-Acto a bit deeper and began to cut.

Some nights her work was less strenuous -- just a simple scarring of the wall here (dry lands), an oblong amoeba shape encasing a mostly bare area (plains) -- but tonight Kait was busy with a valley.

No way in the world, she thought, continuing her meandering cut until a two-foot-long gouge of sheetrock held together with thick drywall paper fell to the floor in a cloud of white dust, am I getting my security deposit back for this place.

Cool. I'm at 2,000 words and counting! I'm getting very excited about this book. (And yes, hanging drywall this past weekend at my parents' house was indeed inspiring -- it's all part of my research!)


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