Writing Projects: My Steampunkish Novel

ImageMany writers admit that it’s a constant struggle to get at the page. There are always things to distract you from the keyboard: family, friends, day jobs, chores around the house, freelance gigs with actual pay checks involved, various neuroses, and blogging about all of the above. As I’m doing right now. See what I did there? Got all meta on you.

One recurring victim of all of the above is my sort-of-a-steampunk novel. I’ve been kicking it around for a couple of years now, and all I have are three chapters, a complete outline, a bunch of notes and research, and some great feedback from friends. When I was laid off earlier this year, one of my first thoughts—after the immediate “holy shite” reaction and the disappointment following the realization that the bar next to my now former job wasn’t open yet as I walked down the sidewalk in the rain with my box of personal effects—was that I could get back to my novel. Here it is eight months later, and I’ve barely touched the thing.

Of course, I have also had a half-dozen freelance projects, worked on a couple of short stories (including “The Squid That Came to Phil’s Basement,” due out in January 2014 in Space and Time Magazine), written The More Things Change (Star Trek: The Original Series eBook due out July 2014), and written five chapters, an outline, and a series concept for a middle-grade media tie-in project that’s being shopped to publishers by an agent . . . but that is kind of the point. There are always reasons, often very good reasons, why something has been left on the stoop quietly waiting for you to swing by and pick it up. In the rain. Before bars open.

But I have finally gotten back at the thing. My first goal is to rewrite the three existing chapters while incorporating the changes suggested by beta readers. Let’s call the word-count goal 15,000. Having just started, I’ve only rewritten the first 637 words, as represented in the graphic below. I’ve already let putting lights on the solstice tree and writing this blog delay my work today, so I’m going to make shoveling the sidewalk wait for a while and get back into my alternate nineteenth century and have some fun.


637 / 15000

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