March 2024 in writing

Slowly but surely

I’m drafting again. Slower than I want to be, but I think the quality is higher. (Sometimes I’ve gone back to my first draft to rewrite a scene, and I’ve ended up throwing it out completely. Better to start from scratch on those than try to rescue any words.)

The new structure seems to be working so far. The alarm bells that went off during the first draft, warning me that the story just isn’t working, have been relatively quiet.

I find myself thinking of how to improve what I’ve already written during my morning dog walks. It’s nice to be this immersed in the work, where I’m living and breathing the story even when I’m not at the keyboard.

One of the scenes made me tear up while writing it. Always a good sign. I recognize that this draft is far from a final draft. I’ve gone back and edited scenes I’ve written for Draft 2.5, vastly improving them, and I want to do more of that. But I also want to get to the end of this draft, when the book will be roughly in its final shape.

Living document outline

I’ve combined, deleted, added, expanded, and rearranged beats and scenes, ending up at 97 scenes and 899 beats, from 98 and 890 at the end of February. I still like being able to see the effects of these changes at a glance.

(I’ve finished 21 scenes and started another, which is significantly less than the one scene per day pace I wanted to hit; at this pace I’ll need another 4 months to finish Draft 2.5.)

New Puppy

We have a new puppy! Meet Rye, 6 1/2 months old:


We’re hoping Whiskey (16yrs) will be a good big sister to her.


This is at least partially why I haven’t been as productive as I’ve wanted to be.

New Keyboard

I also bought a new keyboard. It’s fun, compact, well built, and infinitely configurable, which led to me burning some number of hours in the Oryx configurator.

It took me a couple weeks, calendar time, to get used to it. Now I enjoy using it when I’m at my desk. (I did have ideas of typing with my laptop and keyboard clamped to my tripod, in a portable standing desk, but that’s a bit risky given a puppy with the zoomies.)

Continuing Draft 2.5

I should finish the first POV’s scenes in early April. I’m thinking I’ll continue drafting the 2nd POV while editing and polishing the first POV. We’ll see.


I did end up moving all of the non-Draft-2.5 files out of the manuscript folder, so the manuscript stats are accurate.

I also cleaned up a ton of obsolete markdown files (one day I had a net -45,000 words), so the overall vault is significantly smaller.

Manuscript markdown files: 22
Manuscript words: 39893
Total markdown files: 409
Total words: 260426