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The ten thousand things and the one true only.

by Kip Manley

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Three on a match.

Well that took longer than was hoped.

The first draft of no. 25, “ – two sweetest passions – ”, clocks in at 18,300 words, and took 83 days to write, if we don’t count the abortive first stab back in (checks calendar) December, yikes. If we don’t count that (and we aren’t), that’s averaging 220 words a day, and again the ouch. I’ll need to bring in no. 26 at about twice that rate of speed if I want to also have no. 27 drafted by the time we kick things off in June.

Still, it’s doable. And there’d be five in the pocket by the time we launch. I could be releasing a chapter a month into October!

—Sorry. I like laying it all out like that. Logistics, you know.

The problem, or part of the problem, was with this one scene, one of those where five or six different emotional vectors crash into an epiphany, but instead of cohering they were clanging, taking entirely too much time and too many words to lay themselves out in sentences that kept having to be unravelled and reknotted, so. What’s there in the draft is at least the shape of something to come, I suppose, but it’s weak and it’s tender and it makes me wince when I poke it. So I don’t; so I let it lie fallow a bit, while I press on to figuring out the broad strokes of what happens next, and then on after that.

(And it’s really all my fault: of course it is, but: the unrelenting drive to tell it slant. —I mean, if you come right out and just say what’s going on, and why, you might as well just write a cover blurb. —But there’s slant, and there’s staggering from lamppost to lamppost, and I’ve ellipticated about all this before.)

At least I know the opening line of no. 26: “There’s two ways this can go.”

—Which is a lie, but hey.


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