First Draft

Finally.

Started my first draft today. My target is 1,000 words a day, 120,000 words total, but we’ll see how that goes…

1,000 words today, though. So that’s good.

Excerpt:

The empty city by daylight was one thing, but at night it took on an added dimension, a new and wholly alien face, and it gave Cabrell an odd kind of spiritual vertigo, even though he was the mayor.

Even in the daytime it wasn’t quite right. The engineers were tweaking rotational parameters, adjusting the spectrum of the minisun, making it all a little closer to Earth-normal with each passing day. They’d effectively increased his weight, fiddling with the cylinder’s speed, and with the minisun they’d pulled out some of the blue, added in some yellow and a little pinch of red. They were doing it gradually, but he still noticed. Shadows didn’t quite look as sharp as he was used to. His gait felt plodding. It gave him a feeling like he was just coming into the hangover from a week-long bender, and it was going to be ugly.

Night, though, was worse. He wasn’t sleeping well lately, a combination of anxiety and a lingering case of overdrive sickness, mild but protracted, and so he’d taken to wandering his city in the dim blue-green light of the minimoon. The engineers hadn’t yet programmed in the phases of the moon, so it was always a fat crescent, traveling across the sky in its pre-programmed arc.

It didn’t help a whit, either, that night in Caer Gwynne involved the disappearance of the curve of pseudo-valley, leaving him at the best of times feeling like he was at the top of a gentle hill, and that every step he took might be enough to unbalance him and tumble him down the gentle but long slope, gathering speed till he fetched up against a stone at the bottom, ending a bloody mess. It was ridiculous, but it’s hard to argue with the inner ear.

Remember: first draft, straight from the horse’s keyboard, with the internal editor as shut down as I can make him, the perfectionist little beggar.

5 thoughts on “First Draft

  1. Technically proficient, but I didn’t start ‘seeing things’ until that last paragraph or two. I know you do description awfully well. I’d like to see more of that, earlier on. That said, the bits of description you have given are enticing enough that I’d keep reading.

  2. Thanks Doug. Like I said, this is first draft material. If you’re interested, I’ll try getting “the rushes” posted somewhere, so you can see the whole thing so far.

    -pat

  3. Doug – it’s a first draft. You should see my first drafts – barely legible. (Although I’ve recently been told my final product is barely readable too :-))

    Pat – I recently got an alphasmart. Have you heard of them? It’s a little 2lb first draft machine, and I love it like my 3rd child.

  4. Maureen
    I’ve heard of the Alphasmart; I think someone mentioned it when I tried Nano a couple years ago. I think if I’m going to get something portable for writing, it’s going to be a low-cost laptop with Linux on it. I love being able to pop into a browser and check out a word on dictionary.com before I misuse it in a sentence.

  5. Maureen — you’re reading my first draft, so watch what you say.

    But I’m being a bit facetious. I revise-as-I-go. By the time I finish a chapter, I’ve usually reread (and edited) it at least twice. That’s not what ‘they’ recommend in the so-you-wanna-be-a-writer books, but I’m too anal retentive to turn something out that I’m unhappy with.

    Actually, I thought Pat’s first draft snippet read pretty well. Some of the stuff posted on the Fic boards — now that’s first draft material.

    Present company excluded, naturally.

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