fast, sketchy post

July goal: To push out a full first draft of the new novel, which is currently at 33,000 words. As usual for me in this stage of the game, the book starts slow and ends fast, the second half is only sketched in places, and the first half is less sketchy but also in need of trimming and shaping to improve the pace. In four weeks, I could get the ms. to 53,000 words, maybe 60,000, which is good for a word-count goal. Word count isn't everything, but if I'm at or near 60,000, I'll feel good about having a complete draft by the end of the year. I don't think this book is going to nudge over 80,000 words, and the last 25 percent usually comes in a big rush anyway.

Other goals: Tighten the first half. Finish the sketchy bits.

What did I learn from this stage of the process last time? Buy paper and use it. Print stuff out, use notebooks to sketch scenes, and avoid the screen, with its high-stakes aura, for composing.