Isotope batteries to full power! Vent the HeliOx gas! Shovel on more dogs! It’s Rob’s update…

Current Word Count: 17,000-ish
Current Mood: A bit frustrated but otherwise good.
January Low Point: The last few days actually. No writing has been done.
January High Point: First week. I was snowed in and so got a LOT done then. Since that time the pace has been slower but nonetheless steady.

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Okay, so, I know what you’re thinking: ‘17,000!? Wha-?!’ You may be wondering how I’ve managed to get so many words into one month, so I’ll explain the hows and the whys.

As I mentioned, I was snowed in for the first week, and with nowhere to go I seized the opportunity to get as much done as possible. That’s when a good portion of the 17,00 was constructed. Also, I currently am wanting of a job, so I have rather too much free time on my hands, and have used that to write and do a little planning. Most of the planning had been done though. This story (well, the base of it) has been percolating in my cog-noggin for over a year, so I was able to hit the page knowing more or less what I’m aiming for.

Most of all though, I ‘write big’. Very big. As Chris mentioned in his update we have very different styles. To communicate just how different our styles are, think of them in terms of soup: if Chris is the Campbell’s Condensed; a lot of good stuff perfectly poured into a small space, then I’m the Campbell’s Soup factory… in mid-explosion…with Alphabet soup flying everywhere…and splashing over onto the Bread Roll Bakery next door. An action he can describe in a sentence I describe in a page. Chances are that if he told the same story I’m telling he could do it in half the number of words. But that’s because I love to get tied up in alliteration and adjectives and language that hasn’t been used for about a century. There’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just different. Plus it fits with the kind of story I’m telling.

So what have I accomplished in 17,000 words? Well as I don’t write in a linear fashion I’ve written chapters from all over the ‘Victorian’ half of the novel, but stayed clear of Part 2: Steampunk. I’ve sown the seeds of a clockwork war, invented (my version of) the ray-gun and killed a character with it, I’ve killed off a few others, some of whom might not stay dead, there’s been a heart-to-heart conversation between two old friends (probably the bit I’m most proud of at the minute), an introduction to our arch-villain behind the curtain Lord Rhodion, and there’s even been an outrageous fight in a Victorian special effects warehouse, complete with prop use. Hahahahaaa! What did I tell you? There’s soup everywhere!

In all, it’s been a very productive month and I’m quite happy with it so far. Above all, it’s been fun. I don’t subscribe to the idea that writing is a serious business or something that you shouldn’t enjoy. If I don’t have fun writing it then chances are you won’t have fun reading it. But although the finished story is going to be about 100,000 words don’t expect to see such a high word count again for the rest of the year. January was the head of steam. February will be a leaner month as I’ll be knitting together sections of stuff I’ve written before I make the big push in March to write and finish the Victorian half of the novel. Alternate Steampunk Britannia will be started (hopefully) in April/May. And that’s when the soup really starts to fly…