Monthly Archives: August 2009

Post Write-a-thon Review

I’m making the transition from Go! Go! Write-a-thon! back to regular old writing-in-the-morning, and I have to admit I’ve been a bit of a slacker — adding up the 20- and 30-minute scraps, I’ve got 2 hours in for August so far, mostly because the Snooze button and I have gotten reacquainted. This morning was better than yesterday, and I expect tomorrow will be better still.

By every measure but one I hit my Write-a-thon goals. I wrote for 42 hours (and 15 minutes). And since I didn’t realize the Write-a-thon spanned only 41 days, I had a bonus hour from the beginning. I revised and submitted a short story, and while I didn’t do a complete draft of a new story, I wrote 3,000 words split evenly across two new outlines. One already has the final scene (knowing the final scene and being able to write toward it is always a huge help). The other is a sequel to the story I’ve got coming out in Asimov’s soon.

Of course, the goal I didn’t meet was the biggie: I didn’t finish the novel revision, alas. I did, however, outline all the new scenes and add 4,000 new words, and thus discovered that doing the revision properly was a bigger job than I’d estimated. But I spent a fair amount of time making sure the new stuff didn’t feel extraneous to what I had originally, and I’m happy with the new structure.

I also discovered an embarrassing factual glitch at the very beginning of the novel, in the bit I excerpted on my Write-a-thon page:

The books whisper to me. They want to know who I am.

Goddess of Shelving, I say, or Goddess of Barcodes. Goddess of Taxonomy. Goddess of the Library of Congress — even this run-down county library uses their system.

B for Philosophy, Psychology, Religion. BL for Religions, Mythology, Rationalism. And the numbers, one after another, dripping a pattern on a map. BL290: the Soul. BL300-325: the Myth. BL500-547: the End of the World.

The books aren’t satisfied. They want more. Books like their stories.

Goddess of Alphabetical Order.

They’d lean forward if they could. They sense the truth hanging in the air with the dust motes.

Order, they echo, and suspect I had some relationship with chaos.

I slip the books back on their shelves, quietly counting each one as I push it into its place.


Why, yes, it is true that a county library would be far more likely to use the Dewey Decimal classification system, while the Library of Congress method would probably be found in an academic library. And since Dewey doesn’t offer the eschatological resonances I’m looking for, I’ve moved the opening scene to an “underfunded community college library”.

So, new target: finish the revision, really truly, this month.