As of today, we’re on Day 24 of 42 in the Clarion West Write-a-thon, and I’m pleased to say that so far I’m on track to meet my goal. In 23 days, I’ve written 23,356 words, just over my 1,000-words-per-day target. And I’m pleased to report the new novel is shaping up pretty well, too. I’ve been working hard to make sure that I’m not just putting down 1,000 words, but 1,000 reasonably good words. And so far I think I’m doing a decent job of it. This will be the fourth novel I’ve worked on, and so far I feel like it’s coming together quite a bit better than any of the previous three. *knocks on wood*
I’m hoping that the novel will end up around 70-80 thousand words long, which obviously will take me until well past the end of the Write-a-thon. Therefore, my current plan is to actually continue my 1,000-words-a-day pace beyond the actual end of the Write-a-thon, and hopefully have the complete first draft of the novel wrapped up by the time I go to WorldCon, over Labor Day weekend. It’s going to be difficult, but doable, I think.
The working title of the novel is The Koskinen Protocols. It’s a YA science fiction novel, taking place in and around Manila, capital of the Philippines, about 100 years in the future. I present to you the first two paragraphs, in which you can tell that genetic modification is going to be a major theme:
Tanya Castillo stood on her tiptoes just as a shopper almost bowled her over, each of the woman’s four arms loaded down with shopping bags, hurrying through the crowd. She staggered, straightening and brushing herself off just as the green-haired woman spun her head one hundred eighty degrees to glare straight backward at her. “Watch it, kid!”
Tanya scowled at the woman’s back, which was already disappearing into the motley crowd. She walked at an angle to the flow of people, trying to escape the congestion. Light on her feet, she dodged families pushing strollers; a geisha in her ornate, flowering kimono whose face and hands gleamed whiter than steamed rice; a blue-skinned man dressed in a dapper suit who must have towered a solid three meters tall. “Excuse me,” he muttered in a deep voice as he stepped past her with a surprising grace in his step.
If you feel like supporting me in this endeavor, please considering making a donation to the Clarion Write-a-thon via this page:
Clarion West is a fantastic workshop– I’m hoping to attend myself next year– and they need financial support. Plus, if you donate $5 or more, I’ll add you to the novel, and given that it’s a novel about genetic modification, you can decide what your character will look like! Most likely you’ll just make a brief appearance on screen, but if you donate $20 or more I will endeavor to give you a speaking part (no promises). Note: On the Write-a-thon page, it stays as a fundraising goal that I will kill your character on-screen, but there’s not going to be nearly as much death as there was in the novel I worked on last year, so I can’t promise that this year. Sorry. But it’s a worthy cause nonetheless!