Heaven knows what I’ll be posting under the Update title in a few weeks, but for now, still working on Tasmakat!
Luckily (?) we had chilly, drizzly weather most of this weekend, so I got a fair bit of work done. All the dogs did get out to the park on Friday, which was the only halfway decent day. My knee was feeling it by the end of the second trip to the park, but it’s basically all right now. I even walked downstairs almost normally this morning, which I’m still usually very careful about.
Let me see. Okay, this is funny:
During the last month, I have both written 140 pages (or so) and cut 140 pages (or so). That’s entertainingly symmetrical, even though of course the pages written were, you know, consecutive pages, while the “pages cut” were almost all individual words, sentences, and paragraphs. Nevertheless, it’s funny to look back at my Progress timeline and see that today I’m almost exactly where I was a month ago as far as number of words.
I am, for the first time, making notes of the page number where each chapter starts and stops and of the number of pages per chapter. Therefore, this morning, I combined three chapters. I was really surprised to see that one of those chapters was only eight pages! I must have cut it heavily at one point. Not too recently, since I don’t remember what else used to be in that chapter. I don’t actually mind short chapters, but prefer them near the end, when short chapters often reflect important scene shifts. These chapter breaks weren’t particularly important, so, as I say, I combined three chapters.
I’ve cut another 10,000 words. I do intend to cut another 20,000. Then I have 46 notes to myself — I counted them — which are all about continuity and smoothing things out. Also notes that say things like, “Is [this one character] present in the last three chapters? If not, where is he?” With associated notes about where that character might be if he’s not present.
I don’t mean to make anyone jealous … okay, I totally do intend to make you all jealous … but my brother has now read about half of Tasmakat and should read the rest of it over the next couple of days. It’s so much fun for me to see first reactions! I did give away one or two important events because I forgot what I’d mentioned or discussed with him, but there are plenty of things that should be surprising. Also, I was pleased because Craig didn’t find the journey back to the summer country tedious, which means I must have trimmed it about the right amount. I’m waiting impatiently for him to hit the part where [important spoiler redacted] at the end of chapter 42, not to mention the part where [extremely important spoiler redacted] in the next chapter.
Another week to finish cutting, probably; and another week again to deal with all the notes; and I should be just about ready to send this to other first readers. I’m really pleased because I should be able to do that just about the time Christmas Break starts, which is perfect.
Next semester should be easier, since it’s highly unlikely that I’ll be asked to teach another class. I can hardly believe the bureaucratic problems that led to the emergency request haven’t been solved by this time. So with luck, including no further serious health issues for anyone, that ought to give me a lot more free time. On the other hand, you know what we hit this week? The animal behavior chapter. I’m very much looking forward to that, so I can’t really be sorry I got shanghaied into teaching this semester. One chapter hardly does the topic justice. I’m expanding beyond what’s in the book, but even so, one lecture, maybe two, is just barely going to allow me to introduce the topic. Nevertheless, I’m going to enjoy it! I hope the students do as well.
Preordered Tasmakat yet? No? Here’s the link!