The second phase of my writing bet with my friend Lauren (an extension from the summer until the end of 2013) is now complete. For the month of December, I wrote around 11,678 words.
Here're the results:
1. THE THING IN THE WOODS is now complete, with a current word count of 47,377. I wrote the ending in a series of marathon afternoon writing sessions, an ending that impressed the woman in charge of one of my writing groups with its beautifully-described grotesqueness. I gave the female lead some POV sections of her own and gave the (human) villain some close-to-death POVs.
This isn't the first draft--I've cycled chapters through one of my writing groups as I've written them and in the last batch, rewrote chapters even after submission before critique. I'm thinking I'm on the third or fourth draft at present--well, partially through. I made another pass through the first four chapters yesterday, around 20% of the length by word count. I'm hoping to add some meat here and there to hopefully kick it to 50,000 words, but I've also made a lot of micro-cuts. I'm thinking it's going to be a wash.
2. Around 1,200 words were written for other projects. This includes developing the Catalina Merrill harem-intrigue subplot in one of the later WASTELANDS novels a bit further, some more back-story for THE CYBELE INCIDENT, and touching on environmental policy and solar power some in my political book.
Graduate school for the coming semester is looking nightmarish in terms of the number of books I need to read, so I want to get as much done with THING as possible before the next semester starts. I'd like to have my Cobb writing group go over the entire manuscript (like they did in 2012 for BATTLE FOR THE WASTELANDS) and make one last set of revisions before I start querying agents and publishers. THING's shortness is a strike against it and I'd like it to be as good as possible (and hopefully get some ideas to extend it) before I do anything. Given the time the group will need to read it, I doubt I'll be sending it anywhere until February.
I don't known if Lauren will extend the bet or not, but my friend Emily has a short story/novella idea of her own and so the competition will continue.
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