Work in Progress: “Fearless”

From a newsgroup post dated July 4, 2009:

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 7/3/09

Last actual wordage added: 7/3/09

Pages added 7/3/09: 1

Current page count: 4

Estimated final page count: No idea, really. 30, maybe?

Deadline: August 1

Comments: Linzi is trying to account for Prince Sharal’s presence.

==

Update, June 17, 2017: I didn’t make that August 1 deadline. I never got any further than page 4. Life got in the way.

But I did pull this out and look at it a few months ago, with the idea I might submit it to a then-open anthology, and realized I’d forgotten part of the plot. Which isn’t a big deal, really; I can just make up a new one. But it means the “Last time looked at” above is wrong.

One more thing — I’m pretty sure that if I do ever write it, there’s no way it’ll only be thirty pages.

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians

NEW!

Progress report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered SauriansTom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 6/15/17

Last actual wordage added: 6/15/17

Pages added, 6/15/17: .2

Current page count: 55

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 13,991

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Still much the same: I’m writing Chapter Six, where Tom is being briefed on the job he’s agreed to undertake. He’s in Ogden, Utah, and it’s March 24, 1884. I’ve been reading up on Mormons, paleontology, geography, etc. But the point here is that I’m getting back to work on it after two months of neglect; I read through the entire text up to this point, did some light editing, and added a paragraph.

And why was it neglected? Well, partly travel, with the trip to New England last month and the trip to Vietnam coming up, but largely because I was focused on getting short fiction delivered to various places, and getting Tom Derringer in the Tunnels of Terror done and ready to go to press. That one is now waiting on illustrations; everything else is done.

Work in Progress: A Hero of the People

From a newsgroup post dated April 22, 2009, but still basically correct:

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 4/21/09

Last actual wordage added: 4/21/09

Pages added 4/21/09: 1

Current page count: 2

Estimated final page count: Probably about 400. Maybe more.

Deadline: None yet, but Tor has the proposal. No, they don’t. At least, not officially, thought they may have hung onto it.

Comments: Have I mentioned this one yet? I’m pretty sure I have.

This is a novel that follows a bunch of the secondary characters from Above His Proper Station after the protagonist departs the vicinity. The hero of this one is Argandos Galibier, though the title doesn’t necessarily refer to him.

He disappeared from Above His Proper Station in Chapter Nine, and A Hero of the People picks up during Chapter Ten, but following Argandos instead of Anrel.

Having sent Tor the proposal, I figured I should probably go ahead and write the opening.

But alas, it went no further, because Tor turned it down, as my editor, Brian Thomsen, had died suddenly and his successor wasn’t interested in the series. I do hope to write it someday.

Progress Report: “Sorcery of the Heart”

Remember the anthology I wanted to submit “The Dancing Teacher” to? The one with a June 1 deadline?

I decided that “The Dancing Teacher” didn’t really suit it after all. Instead I wrote a new story entitled “Sorcery of the Heart,” set in the northwestern part of the Walasian Empire roughly sixty years before A Young Man Without Magic.

I didn’t finish it by the deadline, but the editor extended it two weeks. Which should work.

I have the first draft of “Sorcery of the Heart” written — 30 pages, 8,000 words. Which technically makes it a novelet, not a short story, and it may get longer in rewrite. Editor says that’s okay, so… we’ll see what happens.

Work in Progress: “Gargoyle”

June 24, 2008:

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 6/23/08

Last actual wordage added: 6/23/08

Pages added 6/23/08: 1

Current page count: 3

Estimated final page count: Probably about 12

Deadline: None. Speculative.

Comments: I started this story back in the 1980s but didn’t get past the opening; it got shelved indefinitely. At the 2004 Worldcon a picture in the art show prompted me to haul it out and take another shot at it, which brought it up to page 2.

Tonight I’m going through old progress reports, and there it is, so I wrote the next page. The unnamed protagonist is trying to pry the gargoyle off its perch.

And now, almost nine years later, I’m still on page 3.

Work in Progress: George Pinkerton and the Plague of Zombies

I’m transferring this from my old SFF Net newsgroup, but it’s still technically the current report on this project. You will notice that I haven’t worked on this story in well over nine years. I’m not sure I’ll ever do anything more with it. The theory at the time was that I would expand some of the George Pinkerton stories into a series of books for middle-graders; I no longer think that’s a good idea.

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 9/29/07

Last actual wordage added: 9/29/07

Pages added 9/29/07: 1

Current page count: 15

Estimated final page count: 150

Deadline: None. Purely speculative.

Comments: I just did a first pass, filling in some obvious bits. I haven’t really gotten serious about it yet.

Work in Progress: “The Dancing Teacher”

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 4/17/17

Last actual wordage added: 4/17/17

Pages added, 4/17/17: 2

Current page count: 12 (see below)

Current word count: 2,950

Estimated final page count: 20-30?

Deadline: June 1, 2017 (anthology)

Comments: Yes, it got shorter again.

A few days ago I looked at what I had and once again threw part of it out. The story had once again gone in the wrong direction; I had over-thought the background, and had too much internal monologue.

This time, though, it finally feels as if I’ve got it right.

I had cut it back to about nine pages, but not all the stuff I removed came from the end — I cut a chunk out of the middle, too.

Anyway, it seems to be finally going in the right direction, with my protagonist not doing anything stupid or reckless (at least, not yet). Progress has been slow, however; I’m not sure exactly why. I’ve been feeling a bit sluggish; maybe it’s just the weather.

Today I finally wrote two full pages, and got things moving a little better. The antagonist has gotten his first lines of dialogue. Still not quite sure how my protagonist will get into the confrontation I want, or how the resolution will play out, but it’s coming together.

Work in Progress: “The Dancing Teacher”

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 4/9/17

Last actual wordage added: 4/9/17

Pages added, 4/9/17: 3, more or less

Current page count: 13 (see below)

Current word count: 3,405

Estimated final page count: 20-30?

Deadline: June 1, 2017 (anthology)

Comments: Yes, it got shorter.

A few days ago, shortly after my last progress report, I looked back over what I’d written, and considered where the story was going, and said, “That sucks.” I could have finished the story, and it might have been publishable, but I wouldn’t be happy with it, and as the author, my opinion counts.

So I threw out eleven of the eighteen pages I’d written at that point. (I said in a tweet I threw out twelve, but I realized almost immediately that I’d gone a page further than necessary, so I put one back.) I decided I was going to find a plot that didn’t require the protagonist to do something totally boneheaded, and had the antagonist and his family react in a way that vaguely resembled actual human behavior. (Many writers don’t bother with this, and many readers don’t seem to mind, but I usually prefer characters who bear some similarity to reasonably intelligent people.)

I have now come up with that new plot. I think. We’ll see whether it works once I write it all down. And I’ve added more to the story, including some bits salvaged from the discarded material, but mostly new.

The protagonist still does something reckless, but it’s not completely stupid.

Work in Progress: Tom Derringer and the Steam-Powered Saurians

Progress report: Tom Derringer & the Steam-Powered Saurians

Last time looked at: 4/7/17

Last actual wordage added: 4/7/17

Pages added, 4/7/17: 2

Current page count: 55

Estimated final page count: 250

Current word count: 13,931

Deadline: None. Will be self-published.

Comments: Third in the Tom Derringer series. I’m writing Chapter Six, where Tom is being briefed on the job he’s agreed to undertake. He’s in Ogden, Utah, and it’s March 24, 1884. I’ve been reading up on Mormons, paleontology, geography, etc.

Work in Progress: Charming Sharra

Progress report:

Last time looked at: 4/1/17

Last actual wordage added: 4/1/17

Pages added, 4/1/17: 4

Current page count: 16

Estimated final page count: 300? I don’t really have any idea.

Deadline: None. Purely speculative.

Comments: The story is continuing. Sharra has gone to her mother looking for sympathy.

Word-count is 3,926.