At some point early on in the process of writing Innogen and the Hungry Half, I made an attempt at devising an ideal and reasonable production schedule, one that would more or less keep my usual stressors at bay. It’s so sensible, I’m amazed it came to me at all. The schedule looks like this:
Tuesday: Having published a chapter at 9 a.m., I may spend the day alerting readers of the update and taking notes to outline the next chapter.
Tuesday evening, Wednesday and Thursday: Write 1,000 words each day for a first draft. Each chapter tends to be about 3200 words, more or less. During this time I also bother Excellent Enabler with sections as they come, and she tells me what she likes and what could use improving.
Friday: After polishing the first pass, I then send the draft to First Beta, who gives incredibly helpful notes about structure, characterization, plot holes and other big picture issues.
Saturday: I write that week’s chapter preview, which I then schedule to post automatically sometime Sunday morning.
Saturday night or Sunday morning: I edit according to First Beta’s notes, and send the revised draft to Second Beta, who tackles word-by-word issues, smoothing out unclear passages, typos and other messy writing bits.
Monday evening: I edit the chapter with Second Beta’s notes, and schedule the post to go up the next morning. Then I kick back and congratulate myself for managing my time and resources so well.
Sadly, this has yet to actually happen: the real process involves a lot more procrastinating, obsessive outlining, endless and obscure note-taking and scrambling to make deadlines. Things are always finished much closer to posting than is comfortable. Weirdly, though, I like it, and miraculously, so do my friends, for which I am very, very grateful. And each week is an opportunity to get better! This entry is dedicated to anyone who has ever received a frantic last-minute email from me promising that this is the last time this will happen.
Last time, Imogen and Posthumus had a night on the town that anyone would want to sleep off somewhere private. Too bad that’s never an option when you’re the daughter of the king. What’s waiting for them on the other side of the alarm clock? Check back Tuesday to find out — for now, some hints and clues!
“The White Queen Sleeps/The White Palace,” Iain Ballamy, Mirrormask
Do yourself a favor and see this movie if you can; it’s not actually as dated as this trailer makes it look. Imogen is going to wake up in a world that’s askew. This track unnerves me every time I hear it; it’s just off and just eerie enough.
I’m also not going to deny that there’s any of Hedy Lamarr in Rigantona; it’s too neat a fit.
I see the corner of his mouth quirk, but his shoulders are tight. “It came out, though, that I changed when I was eight. He just thought I was living up to my potential.”
All right, we’re off to the races now. Come back on Tuesday to see how it falls together! As always, no knowledge of steampunk or Cymbeline is necessary to enjoy Innogen and the Hungry Half, but if you’d like to read the play, MIT has the full text available for free online.