Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. -- Gene Fowler

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Well, here we are, on day one of my 500-words-a-day challenge and I don't have a topic. Project. Subject. Whatever. I have a few choices.
  • Add words to "The Rise of Umbra" while also editing it
  • Plot out a cohesive story for James Sterling and write that
  • Dump a heap of words into "Prediction Center" and hope to trim it back to a workable short story size

If I choose "Prediction Center" I'll wind up with over 17,000 words at the end of the month. That's way too big for a short story. The story doesn't feel like it needs or wants to be that big. I could go the NaNoWriMo route and just carve it up when I'm finished, but I'm leery of that approach. I dislike needing to cut a story down to size (though I expect that's one of a scad of things I'll learn to do regularly, whether I'm comfortable with it or not), and short stories don't typically run over 10,000 words. Even though I'm only writing 500 words a day, it's probably better to work on that outside the self-imposed mini-marathon. I ought to do my 500 words on whatever project I choose, and then work on "Prediction Center". That should be doable, even if I don't do it every day.

I could choose to start a story for Sterling, but that would be a new project and I do, as I've mentioned, have other projects that need attention. Speaking of which...

I wrote the first 26,000 words of "Umbra" in 2005. I wrote 50,000 more in 2008. I want to get this story into shape to be printed as a proof copy this summer. This seems to be the most obvious choice, though the 'editing it at the same time' part makes me worry. Well, it'll be a learning experience, eh?

I've looked at the first section of "Umbra" so many times I get discouraged when I think about editing it or even working on it. So for the moment I'm picking up the second part that I wrote in 2008. I'll put it into Scrivener and start banging around and pray the beta version for Windows doesn't decide to randomly eat my work. Yes, I'm a pessimist. It occasionally saves me from minor disasters.

So "Umbra" it is. Why do I have a sinking feeling about this?

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