Time is running out... is the day's Exercise at Forward Motion and I don't have a good short story idea for it. Yet. Because the feeling has been breathing down my throat since I started the Chazho Rewrite. I'm at chapter 9 in it.

I am in the middle of Chapter 9 and last night I carved out a good 600 words of infodump, some of it just in a major swipe of the pointer. I am a much better writer than I was when I first wrote that book. It's raw and powerful, it has a great plot and some good dialogue - interspersed with the occasional mini-essay on alien politics or their magic that somehow dropped in there because at the time I thought it needed to be said for my readers to understand the rest of the book.

Heh. I've gotten more concise. Big thank-you to Holly for the Death Challenge! I'm using more little bridging conflicts and arguments between the characters, finding inherent conflict in scenes that used to lay there like a dead fish. Now compared to some of what I've read, the rough wasn't that bad. I overdid by a paragrph or two, the "history of the planet." But then, I loved DUNE and DUNE had an entire most of a chapter that was basically just a neat biology class lecture on sandworms and Arrakis ecology. So at times I was restrained, compared to Dune. I was proud of that at the time.

I should be glad now, because I'd be tearing out my hair if I had to condense something like that chapter.

It didn't have a formal deadline. It is on request. I will get it done as fast as I possibly can - but at this point that's also a matter of "done too fast or done well?"

It may go faster from here. I'm putting in the hours on it - but done well is the important part.

This is a lot more than I had done when I blocked completely on it trying to deal with killer heat and other problems when I first heard about it. I lost some days to fear and I lost many more days to heat exhaustion, wondering why I'd get only one or two productive hours in and slept or sat dazed all the time getting sick, putting rubbing alcohol on or stuff like that. That's over!!

A friend of mine in chat organized a fund and they got it together - they ordered me an air conditioner from Wal Mart! It just came. Ironically the weather lightened up, but I know I'm in for another month of it sometime in September because New York is like that. Thursday is when Andrew comes over. I don't have to hogwrestle it into the window by myself because *today* isn't one of the killer days when it would be worth a few days of back recovery not to get heat exhaustion. If tomorrow's decent - the day after, the problem is solved for the rest of the summer and Indian summer. When - not if - when Chazho sells (obviously if it gets rejected after all that it gets shipped again and again till it does) that's another dedication!

I am going to try Sheila's schedule.

Sheila splits her day between Writing and Rewriting. I will not get this novel rewrite done in a week. At the pace it's getting done, it will get done. But doing the writing is what gives me energy, doing the rewriting takes effort. That isn't a bad thing at all. That's okay. I can even be reasonably sure that in another book or two, I will get to the point where rewriting is relaxing, regenerating, good for the soul - it's had moments like that in THIS rewrite so that is mainly a matter of skill and habit.

That I'm not there *yet* makes a difference. I'm finding a distance pace. I have the 3 Day Novel coming up again, and I want a vacation. I want to write something for it that's good, that will get me just racing round the clock again racking up word count, that lets me just throw everything into the wordstream and see what comes up. I haven't even decided what I"m going to write for it. I thought I'd do the sequel to last year's and didn't formally sign up - which is okay, I can do that, there are other markets for short novels, they can go as serials to magazines if nothing else. Or bundled three to a volume. I've reached a point where I honestly trust anything I do will eventually be salable - that's what learning to rewrite is giving me.

But I have been under tremendous stress, that's a holiday weekend, I am going to kick out the rest of that chapter today... and think about what I'm going to do on my mental vacation. Sometime between now and Friady, I will actually whack up some character bios and an outline for it, use the new tools I have to make sure I do get somewhere with it. Or am I crying out to just create a good starting point, let it rip and do it the way I already know how? I don't know yet. I do know that's not so many days I can't just take it for what it is and recharge, get something good written and toss it on the "to rewrite" stack.

Time to open up Chapter 9 and see where I'm at.

Robert and Ari >^..^<