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Realized I can get rid of my entire prologue if I just tweak the opening sentence to this novel.

As I near the end of this novel’s rough draft, I find that I’m only now grokking the character trajectories. I knew who they were as people, but I didn’t know everything that was going to happen to them when I first sketched their arcs. Now that I do, I can see what stories I actually have room to tell. I’m excited to refocus things during revisions so there’s a more coherent story and theme.

I’m used to short stories where this isn’t as much of an issue...


I didn't end up making something go disastrously wrong. It's enough that getting what she wanted didn't solve her problems. Her success paves the way for Hideki's failure, which I wrote out yesterday, and now he's locked in the brig. Which sucks for him but is great to write and, hopefully, read. He'll have a major revelation this chapter, which will help him grow as a person, so woot for Hideki.

The thrilling conclusion starts now, basically. A lot of action from here on out. Yay!

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Bit of a slog getting through this chapter. I'd been dreading writing it because I didn't know how to make it especially interesting. Oh this main character is finally getting to do the thing she wants to do, great, but where's the drama? Obvious in retrospect--make it not everything she hoped it would be, is this really what she wanted?--and then make something go disastrously wrong.


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+812/620 (last two days)

Did that sketch and outlined the character conflicts. Led to some interesting plot changes. So that's exciting. Will lead to an interesting POV experiment... anyway a lot of these words were backfill to set that up.

We've now just finished cruising by one of the important plot points for a crucial background character, which I'll need to flesh out in the next draft. Onward to a character arc climax!

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Finished the unexpected Hideki chapter. Still not wowed by the chemistry between him and Pearly. I should probably sketch out how I want this sequence to play.

(As I wrote this just now I thought of a good quick fix, to this end, and went back and added it--so now we're at +882 for the day.)

I'll still need to sketch it out, but the battle lines are very clear now. Guess this little diary thing I'm doing can be useful, yay!

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+649 words

Cut the last chapter short since it had run out of steam. Switching to Hideki POV to better establish his drama with Pearly, and also what he's even doing there, which the reader will probably be wondering. Mildly annoyed that this will stretch out the MS by another 500-1k words but what a silly thing to be annoyed by.

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I want to make a bot but just cannot come up with a decent idea

+698/+924 (two days)

Having fun with this new act. Different setting, different fault lines, great sense of urgency. Spending lots of time describing the boat, which is fun, but it's a bit of a guilty pleasure, since in my head it subtracts from time I could spend "telling the story", though of course that's not how things actually work.

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I love my phone, but somehow my ebook feels more futuristic.

+532 words

Low, yes, but I also wrote out a 600-word treatment of the final act and filled in the scene cards, so I'll allow it. I figured out some cool ways to sow distrust in the gang, right off the bat, so I'm excited to get to that. Today's bit was mostly setting the scene. I think I mentioned they're on a boat now?

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+1,473 words

Finished Act IV! Been making really good progress. Pretty pleased with how this chapter ended up. It's a big one at 3,000 words but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Everybody who matters is now on the ship. ~23k words remaining. Home stretch!!!

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+642 words

They were okay. Realized I can skip a whole scene so I made some extra progress that way too. Tired.

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+728 words

This is going to sound dumb, but my shower was broken for the last two days, which coincided with two days of kinda meh writing. It was fixed a couple hours ago, and as soon as I got in, I figured out what I'd been doing wrong, and how to move forward. In this case that meant switching the order of a few scenes. It makes much more sense now. Next up, the back half of this chapter, which is more exciting spy stuff.

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+515 words

Started the final chapter of Act IV. Afterwards, I was worried I'd spent so long working today for so few words. But then I remembered that this chapter was ill-defined on the outline, so I had to rough it out first, which is not captured in the topline figure. So that's good.

Cornelius is well and truly in love now, which is cute, and they are gonna have to find a way to smuggle him onto a ship, so he can get out of town without alerting Homeland Security...

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+1,367 words

One chapter in one sitting. A small one, obviously, but it didn't really make sense to stop in the middle. Might have to be expanded later--it's pretty peppy, but reader feedback tends to indicate that I rush peppiness. But that's what the next draft is for. Onward!

We've now hired a smuggler and gotten almost the whole gang together... we just need Cornelius to stow away in the next chapter.

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+973 words

Closed out the Cornelius-gets-in-real-trouble chapter. This chapter was surprisingly easy to write, so, yay. Wordier than I would have liked... half because it had to be, half because that's what editing is for. Two chapters left in this act, one is very small. Next up: the small one, where Pearly hires a smuggler!

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