Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Sufficiently Advanced

Yesterday I managed a couple thousand words on the new novel. (I also cleaned the kitchen, because writing a novel — or rather avoiding writing a novel, or thinking about plot — can be a great way to get housework done.) I finished chapter 2 and got partway into chapter 3, and the characters are starting to take on real definition in my mind (and, I hope, on the page). The shape of the book as a whole is beginning to become clear to me as well.

It feels very comfortable, in a way, like this is the novel I should be writing. (Which isn’t really an indication of anything. I’ve sweated blood over novels and stories that read like light and fluffy confections, and some of my more ambitious pieces have poured out of me like I was just a funnel directing the flow of words. All that really matters is what’s on the page when you’re done. Most readers don’t care how it got there.)

This is the first book I’ve written set in the mountains of North Carolina in many years — most of the action takes place just eight or ten miles outside the town where I went to college. Makes me want to go back and visit — though perhaps not in November, as it’ll be snowing a lot there soon. Even the novel starts in May. My characters might avoid the winter entirely.

Otherwise, life continues pleasantly. I got a couple of beers at Jupiter in the afternoon, and went to the library, and picked up my kid from school. I got him from the afterschool program early, which he normally likes — but this time I picked him up just before they went into the cafeteria for nachos, thus inciting the rage of nacho deprivation. I mollified him with the promise of making “fancy nachos” at home, so after we rode the train back to our place he helped me load up tortilla chips with beans and cheese and bake them, then serve them with dollops of guac and sour cream and so on. (I’m lucky it was grocery shopping day, so all the ingredients were on hand.) Crisis averted, love restored via food, which is as good a method as any.

Word count (for what it’s worth): For the day: 2309. Total: 4190.

Line(s) I Like:

“I don’t think it’s a special effect. I think it’s…”

“Sufficiently advanced technology,” Bekah said.

“I was just going to say ‘magic,’ but whatever makes you happy.”

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