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Chapters Fourteen and Fifteen

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I got started writing at about one in the afternoon. As I flirted with my morning's thoughts: after a short paragraph of exposition I launched into dialogue. Chapter Fourteen emerged, but I filled up my quota for the chapter long before I ran out of the ideas that were supposed to be included. Somewhere around 4100 words I wrote a line which needed to end a chapter. So I wrote the line "Chapter Fifteen" and kept going.

4400 words later I wrote another line that needed to end a chapter. Who else does that? Speak up, I know you're out there. You write a line so startling and conclusive, it must end the chapter. I was lucky enough to have two of those spurt out today, and luckily at the end of appropriate word counts.

I read it back to my wife, and she loved it. You expect your wife to appreciate your writing, because ... you know ... she'd better! One of these days she's going to want a sink fixed or a light bulb changed. But I can tell the difference between tolerating it and appreciating it. I think I did good.

8500 quality words in twelve hours. Two more chapters down, and now I've written three quarters of the book. With five chapters to go and the determination active in my fingers at the moment, the first draft will be done in the next week. I looked up the claimed word counts of 39 authors. Lots of them are 1000 to 1500 words a day. Wimps.

One thing that surprises me about managing 8500 words is that I spent a LOT of time in that process thinking. This was the culmination of a complicated sequence of "character plotted" activity. It had to be right, the timeline had to be correct, the motivations had to work, and I couldn't have a "gotcha" plot hole. So after spending considerable time thinking through all that, I still got in two chapters.

I mentioned earlier I've been pantsing this book, but I really knew a lot about those chapters in general when I started. I had to work out the details of the action and throw a monkey-wrench into the heroes' plan. Got it done.

I have a tiny idea for Chapter Sixteen tomorrow. I'm eager to see how it plays out once the words start flying.

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