Bottom of the page for victory! And 200 more words!

Hit the bottom of page 13 in Chapter 19 of Lament tonight, and have finally gotten to a point where all this nice new content I’m throwing into this chapter can re-weave in with what’s already there. Which hopefully means that as of tomorrow night’s editing, I can start pulling this chapter’s unruly word count back under control. The word count I need to kill is back up to 5,500 or so, which is just not acceptable given that I’m still aiming at 117K.

Heh, “tomorrow night’s editing”, she says. Feeling pretty optimistic about holding to that, actually, now that my brain seems to pulling out of sleep dep mode. We’ll see what I can do.

Edited tonight: +209
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,668
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,367

Good lord, I actually wrote something!

Not that I’m making any promises or anything–I’m still coming back online after that last round of surgery–but tweaking my thyroid meds intake has had the happy, happy result of giving me back some brain. Which in turn has been giving me back some sleep.

Some of this is coming in also from my old Pern fan group making noises about resurrecting itself, a possibility that has made my muse suddenly perk up; I’ve got a bunch of old characters from that group whose stories I never finished properly telling. I’m finding myself wondering whether I could use the prospect of rewarding myself with working on some of those old stories if I make good progress on finishing up Lament of the Dove‘s edit pass so I can get the damn thing queried again. Right now, I’ll take any inspiration I can get.

And this weekend, over yesterday and today, I actually made some progress on Chapter 19, so some kind of inspiration is happening. The word count is still going up–but I’m adding a lot of new content to this chapter. I suspect I’ll be balancing out this increase though once I plow into Chapter 21, the next Kestar chapter, which is quite long.

Cross your fingers for me anyway, folks. I may, just may, be back.

Edited yesterday and today: +536
Chapter 19 revised total: 5,459
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 122,158

It’s amazing what correct thyroid levels can do

In all the fun I’ve had with breast cancer for the last many months (and by “fun” I mean “experiences I would like to never, ever have to do again”), it’s been easy to forget that I’ve also got no thyroid. Which means that if I don’t have my thyroid meds at the exact right level, my brain skews off. It becomes harder to focus. It becomes harder to sleep, which in turn contributes to the whole focusing problem. And that, of course, makes it harder to write. Which gets me stressed on top of being scatterheaded and tired, which makes it even harder to write. A nasty cycle, all around.

I’m taking two thyroid meds right now: T4 and T3. T3 is the more powerful thyroid hormone, and my dosage is between one and two tablets of that per day as needed. A dogged little corner of my brain chimed up finally and went “so, uh, hey, maybe back off the T3 a bit?” So I tried that.

And I’ve slept well enough the last couple of nights that I’ve recovered enough brain to make it through another page of editing Lament of the Dove. Not only that, but to also put in a little bit of a callback to Faanshi and Julian’s first meeting, one which Julian does on purpose, and which is supposed to signal his reaching a turning point in his relationship with Faanshi. Here’s hoping I gave it the right words.

Edited tonight: +230
Chapter 19 revised total: 4,923
Lament of the Dove revised total (fourth draft): 121,622

Lament of the Dove status check

The last several months have been shaky for me on getting new writing done, in no small part to all the medical crap I’ve had to deal with. So I’ve been focusing on getting editing done instead–and in particular, in carrying out the recommendation of two different agents to edit Lament of the Dove down hard.

Those of you who’ve followed the progress of this book on either of my LJs know that the first draft of this thing was a monster, weighing in around 167K in the word count. By the time I started seriously querying it to agents last year, I’d managed to beat the tally down to 137K.

Now, the target is 117K. If I get there, I’ll have killed 50,000 words out of it. That’s half a book right there. The whole process is teaching me a lot about how to make sure that every last word in a novel absolutely, irrefutably needs to be there–because in Lament, with three different POVs, I’ve got a lot going on. And I can’t waste words describing it.

As of this writing, I’m 4,500 words away from hitting the mark, and I’m finishing up Chapter 18 out of a total of 24 chapters and an epilogue. I think I can get there, hopefully by the time of my (hopefully final) surgery later this month.

Wish me luck.