Sprinting Toward a Novel in One Month…

With the steel of the whip on my shoulder…
With the salt of my sweat on my brow…

OK, so maybe writing isn’t that bad. Honestly, it’s been a lot of fun. But since September 11, I’ve been writing like mad attempting to get the rough draft of a novel done in a month. That means I’ve got just over a week to go. I’m on track to actually finish… but it means that every single writing moment is dedicated to that novel.

I figure after I’m done with this rough draft, I’ll do a write-up about how I did, analyzing what went well and what didn’t. Basically all I’m doing for a blog post this week is saying that I’m hitting this hard to see if I can do it. Here’s my word counts so far:

Oct 2: 51522
Oct 1: 47774
Sept 30: 44994
Sept 28: 43815
Sept 27: 40360
Sept 26: 39176
Sept 25: 37767
Sept 24: 35282
Sept 22: 33365
Sept 20: 30062
Sept 19: 29212
Sept 18: 25505
Sept 16: 23080
Sept 15: 13947
Sept 13: 13152
Sept 12: 7990
Sept 11: 5326

And just so you get a little peak into what I’m doing, here’s the first few paragraphs:

I don’t remember much of the coal riots except the Well-Dressed Man. You’d think I’d remember my mom dying. You’d think I’d remember more of the cold, the hunger, the crowd. Well, cold is normal, and an orphan is always hungry. And crowds? Look, it’s Londinium. It’s always crowded. It’s the only way to stay warm.

But mom took me to the riot. I don’t know why. Maybe she wanted the Gear to see the face of a child they were killing. Maybe she thought it would be warmer than our home. Maybe she was drunk.

I don’t remember mom much. Maybe she was a drunk. I don’t know. I see them around plenty. Don’t you? So maybe she was drunk. Why else would you take a kid to a riot? A little kid that can’t defend herself from flying bottles or constables on flesh horses or any of those Machines the Gear uses to keep the lowlies in line. And who cares, really? She did it. That’s what matters. She took me there.

Someone told me that it’s the only time the Gear kept the coal away from the lowlies. Something about keeping the city running, and not having enough to keep the people warm. And, well, that’s when the riots came.

Like I said, I don’t remember the riot much. Lots of angry faces. Fists and feet and ashfall and I heard the hooves. I never saw the flesh horses, but I was terrified of them. Mom always said if I saw a flesh horse to run, run, because it meant the constables were going to hurt the lowlies. The cobblestones were cold on my bare feet. There were slush piles around from the snow. This close to the factories it was warm enough they melted a little. In the crowd with all the shouting was the warmest I’d been in a long time.

But the crowd was pushing and I lost mom and then there was just people people people and hands and hips and coats and smoke and shouting and I couldn’t breathe and then–

Then I fell out of the riot and into something else. I don’t know what. The shouting was crisper, like the air on a winter day, like it was today when you weren’t in the riot, but there weren’t any people around me. I looked up, and there he was, in the middle of this empty, loud bubble. The Well-Dressed Man.

I’ll note: This is most certainly a rough draft, but I figured I owed actually putting some content on the blog. So here it is!

More next week, though possibly a few days late as I keep sprinting to the finish line on this novel!

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