Tag Archives: The Crane Girl

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Crane Girl progress update

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Crane Girl progress update

All appearances to the contrary, I have been working on my pet monstrosity pretty consistently for the past month. The progress bar isn’t looking too impressive yet, but it’s twice what I had last time. What’s more, I’m having fun. I think that’s still allowed.

Happy weekend!

Crane Girl progress meter

I most likely won’t reach my NaNo word count goal for November, because of Various Reasons, but I’ve written a lot more this month than I would have without the goal, so I’m still feeling good. What’s more, I’ve got some momentum going — dare I say it, some excitement — and I’d like to keep it up, because I want to finish this novel sometime in the next three decades.

So here it is — my Crane Girl word count progress meter!

As you can see, I just passed the 10,000-word mark recently.

Why is it all fancy? Why can’t you just have a solid blue bar like a normal person?

Because this is more fun, and hopefully more motivating.

Okay but why the Avatar characters? What’s the connection with Crane Girl?

No connection, I just like Avatar.

From bottom to top, we have Suki, Sokka, Toph, Katara, Zuko, and Aang. Not that you asked.

Whose art did you steal? I know you’re not that good of an artist.

I don’t care for your tone, but the artwork is taken from the show itself (from the first episode of Korra, actually). I did some editing — okay, a lot of editing — in Paint.NET, and voila! Progress bar.

Geez, how long did this take?

I don’t want to talk about it.

If you’d taken all the time you spent on creating and explaining this progress bar, and spent it actually working on your book …

I said, I don’t want to talk about it!

Why is the goal 128,000 words?

The first draft was around 127K, and the second draft will probably be longer. Really, anywhere in the 125K-150K range wouldn’t be a surprise. But 128K is just a good, semi-arbitrary number to shoot for.

Are you going to put word count updates on the blog?

Yeah, probably every week or so.

Why are you doing this to us?

Well, it’s not really about you. I’m just trying to motivate myself.

None of this interests me at all.

That’s not a question.

No, it’s really not.

I see what you did there.

Okay, I’m off. More words today!

Authors and beta readers: A guide

Recently I distributed the complete first draft of Crane Girl to a select group of beta readers, which got me thinking …

Perhaps you know an author in real life.

My condolences.

Perhaps that author has chosen you as a beta reader.

You poor, poor soul.

In case you have to talk to this author of yours, here’s a handy translation guide to help you make sense of what they’re really saying.

Author says: Hi, how are you?
Author means: What did you think of my book?

Author says: How’s your job been going this week? How’s your cousin? Is she feeling better yet? Oh, good, I’m glad to hear that.
Author means: What did you think of my book?

Author says: So, did you happen to get a chance to look at the book at all?
Author means: I have thought about nothing else for the past ninety-six hours.

Author says: It’s fine if you didn’t read it yet.
Author means: “Fine” is the name of the pin I will stick in your voodoo doll.

Author says: Oh, you did read some of it? What did you think?
Author means: I will define my self-worth entirely based on what you say in the next sixty seconds.

Author says: I want your honest opinion.
Author means: I want your honest opinion to be “This is the most sublime piece of literary craftsmanship since the invention of cuneiform.”

Author says: What was your overall impression?
Author means: Negative impressions will be shattering, and positive impressions will not be believed. There is literally no good answer.

Author says: Thanks!
Author means: I am twitching on the floor.

Author says: All right, talk to you later.
Author means: You should probably find a saner friend.

Crane Girl first draft — COMPLETE!

Finished less than an hour ago. Total page count: 310. Total word count: 127,000.

That’s 127,000 exactly, which is kinda weird. Especially since 27 is my lucky number (as far as I believe in such things) and 127 is part of “bbd127,” the standard username I use for lots of my website accounts. (Okay, confession: It was 126,999, and I couldn’t let that stand. I just had to add another word. But even so, that’s still pretty weird, right?)

Still lots of work to do, even before I start the Big Revision. I need to sit down and read through all the new stuff I’ve written since Part I (i.e., Parts II, III, and IV). That’s 77,311 words right there. And I’ve gotta do some touching up, a little clarifying and cleaning, before it goes to my beta readers — the goal for that is still May 20.

But the draft is done, and I’m pretty happy with it.

Actually, I’m very happy with it. This took a long damn time, and it feels good to cross the finish line at last.

Crane Girl progress update

I finished Part III of the first draft today! Getting very close to finishing the whole thing.

Here’s an excerpt from the draft-in-progress:

It was a dim and storm-fraught evening. The grayish sky pulsed scintillatingly, like a layer of grayish Jell-O smeared with generous abandon across all the vaulted dome of the skiey firmament. It was like, wow. That’s some gray sky.

The girl, Miss Crane — whilst operating the crane machinery — craned her neck to see the feathered crane flying by. She loved the shape of its skull, especially its cranium.

“Hey Stork Dame,” crowed Maxwell Folger, the stormy-coiffed Designated Love Interest (DLI), snatching her irreverently from her reverie. “Who’s your favorite author?”

“The guy that wrote Red Badge of Courage,” she articulated.

“And who’s your favorite Batman character?”

“The dude who turned into the Scarecrow,” she ventilated.

“And what’s your favorite source for hydration?”

She cogitated extemporaneously. “Well …”

Okay, but seriously though, I did finish Part III today. And it doesn’t use the word scintillatingly even once.

That’s what revision is for.

Two announcements

  1. The Federalist Capers are no more. Mostly because (a) I don’t have the time, and (b) I don’t have much profound to say.
  2. I finished the first draft of Part II of The Crane Girl! All I have left is a few more chapters of Part III, and all of Part IV (which is very short). On track to finish the entire first draft by May 20, which is Betsy’s birthday and my self-imposed deadline.