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David D. Levine
17 October 2004 @ 07:27 pm
Word count: 106090 | Since last entry: 1860 | This month: 3629

Usually I post an entry here every day I write something, but in the past few days things have been better for writing than posting. So, by dint of plugging away, a few hundred words on an okay day and a thousand words on a good day, I've got 1800 words since the last entry, for a total of 3500 words in the chapter so far.

And it's war. Civil war between two factions of the aliens.

I didn't know it was going to be war, but there really wasn't any alternative. As soon as Clarity and company realized what Raptor had in mind, how great the stakes had gotten, an all-out military assault became the only sane alternative. I realized this by thinking about the question "given what he plans anyway, why doesn't Raptor just..." and realizing there was no reason he couldn't, or wouldn't. And my main characters also know this, so they have to stop him by any means possible. And the means remaining to them are pretty slim.

One good thing about this situation is that it really allows Clarity to show what she's capable of. She's uncertain whether she's doing the right thing, of course -- as any sane person would be -- but she doesn't let that stop her from taking action. And when a confrontation came with one of her Councilors -- a confrontation I'd planned to end with him storming out, to show just how tenuous her support was -- damn if she didn't deliver a speech so rousing that he just had to stick around. It wouldn't have been fair to her to let him go. Just as well, she has plenty of other forces ranged against her, as she'll be finding out before the end of the chapter.

At this point I'm wondering just how much violence is actually going to occur when things really start to roll, and how much of it to show on the page. I recently read Metropolitan by Walter Jon Williams, where a really massive campaign is waged on the other side of the world while our hero, central to it though she may be, watches on television. This may be the only way to convey something this big in a story that is, fundamentally, about two little people in a great big crazy mixed-up world. So I may wrap up the actual fighting part of the war in just a couple thousand words. Or it might drag on in some form until the end of the book.

Writing is full of surprises, let me tell you. Anything could happen.