Today’s wordage: 3,300
Today’s writing time: 2 hours
Total wordage: 25,500
Total writing time: 16 hours, 30 minutes
Editorial comments: This is going better than I expected so far. I think it’s the ‘book 3’ effect. Much of the work I’d normally be doing early in a novel to establish world building and character elements both in my own mind and for the reader isn’t needed here to the same depth — it already exists. I need to reference them, so as not to confuse newcomers who might not have read Mainspring or Escapement, but I don’t need to unwrap them at length. Likewise the voice. I’m just rocking along with the plot having a good old time.
If I had to guess, I’d say the first draft will land at 200,000 words, plus or minus 25,000. Like Green that will be dreadfully over length to the contract specifications, but, well, so what? I’ll revise, rewrite, cut, chisel things off to short stories, whatever I need to do.
“Your captain is a creature of the Kô’s,” Wang told the mate. “Freedom of thought is not so well rewarded in that service.”
“We are all bound to him,” Wu replied. “Like peasants in their field, we are sworn to Fortunate Conjunction, and through the boat to the Kô.”
“So you cannot take another ship should the mood strike you? Form a new crew?”
Wu’s grin was terrible, a tight band of gleaming regret across his face. “Not in this life, or the next. Someday we will sail with the Kô into hell itself.” He turned up the pale blue sleeve of his loose-woven top and showed Wang a brand scarred onto the inside of his right forearm. It was the character dep, the mark of a rapist. “We are every one of us men who were sentenced to death. That we even breathe today is only at his intercession. That we live to breathe tomorrow is only at his mercy.”
“You are all a crew of ghosts,” Wang said, horrified.
The mate leaned close, his eyes blazing now. “We fear those we have sent to next world to open the way before us.”