Home > Writing > Scotty, I Need Warp Speed NOW!

Scotty, I Need Warp Speed NOW!

Ah, those mid-novel blues…where the plot thickens, the zombie hordes stand 400 deep, the characters are locked in mortal combat with their reanimated foes, and the mortars and Little Birds are running out of ammo.

And the writer is running out of steam.

Yes, yes, it’s my turn to bitch about how tough it is to write a book, especially one that has a ton and a half of detail to cover and pages upon pages of glaring exposition to bury and smooth out so they don’t read like engine installation instructions. This is one of the problems with being wedded to a 3,000+ words a day schedule—you have to fly an autopilot for long periods of time, just focusing on the story and getting the words out so you can conduct search and destroy missions to clean up the text later. But after a time, chipping away at an end product that will likely stand tall at around 130,000 words is just damned tiring. I’ll be lucky to have any fingers left by the time I’m done, which will definitely have a negative impact on realizing my lifelong dream of being a hand model.

Even more maddening is flinging out a cute subplot that goes nowhere, even after having invested thousands of words on it. And continuing forward with it makes things even tougher. Yeah, I did this, and a couple of days ago I had to take 20,000 words or so out behind the barn and shoot them through their heads. (Actually, I just hit them with a 2,000 pound JDAM—much more efficient, and even I don’t have 20,000 rounds lying around Casa Knight.)

So, because of that, it seems that The Rising Horde will debut even later than I’d planned. If I’m lucky, I’ll have it finished and ready for deployment before Christmas.

Wish me luck.

Today’s image from the book: the MRAP, which is what Our Heroes will be using to cut through the horde. Heavy, tough, armored vehicles that take a licking and keep ticking, originally designed to survive an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Iraq. Not the most maneuverable vehicle out there, but more hardened than a Stryker, and less likely to break down in a spreading puddle of transmission fluid than an M2/M3 Bradley.

Bon apetit.

RG-33L MRAP: Good for driving over stenches

  1. October 13, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    3000 words a day is a tough schedule. Good luck!

    • October 13, 2011 at 2:12 pm

      The word count itself is almost automatic these days–some days I even to a 5,000-7,500 word sprint. But it just never seems to end! I should be writing porno books, at least I’d be having more fun.

  2. October 13, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Hi Stephen. Kudos to you for even attempting 3,000 words a day. Sometimes you have to back away and look at things from a different angle. Love the picture of the MRAP. Thanks for sharing the picture and your frustrations.

    • October 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm

      Regrettably, I’m on a deadline for editorial, so backing away ain’t gonna help much. So I’ll just soldier on, and weep bitter tears the entire time. And sharing the frustration is free of charge, of course!

  3. October 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Just think of the feeling you’ll have when you reach the end; kind of like the second day on a Coast Guard ship, don’t ya think?

    Fighting through the muck and mire, even though you can’t see the end of the tunnel yet, you know there is one.

    C’mon buddy, we’re behind you 110%. If there was any way to take some of the load for you, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Every 3k day that passes is 3k less to do.

    WRITE ON !

    • October 13, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      I’ve never spent two days riding around on a great big white one (what the Coast Guard calls their cutters, though it does sound a lot like one of George Takei’s saucy tweets on Twitter), but this midstream bog does suck.

  4. October 13, 2011 at 3:58 pm

    I really do wish there was some other way to help you out. ( and NO I’m not talking about anything close to George’s saucy tweets 😛 😀 )

    Just know there are some fans wishing you the best and hoping the bog clears quickly…

    my 2cents

  5. Siiiiiihu
    October 13, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Thats the spirit, get it done have a few days rest then start on book three 🙂

    We are impatient 🙂

  6. October 13, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    Good luck with your December deadline. I know how these things can drag out, I’ve just spent 6 months revising my novel 4 times. I had to sprint to meet my deadline of yesterday.

  7. October 14, 2011 at 9:06 am

    I would be thrilled to have the time to write 3K a day. I’ve done 8500 in a weekend, but those are few and far between. I know the pain, though. I’ve tried outlining and it just doesn’t work. My fingers are like a drunk behind the wheel, they won’t go where they are supposed to. I use a program called Scrivener that has helped keep things in order, especially when writing series books (I have two going and two more in the back of my head), but it don’t put words on the page. Just keep pounding the keys, like the piano player in the strip club, something is bound to turn up. ;-j=

    • October 14, 2011 at 9:56 am

      I don’t necessarily have the time to write 3k…it takes me about three hours to do that, while holding a fulltime, demanding job and commuting in and out of NYC. So it makes for lots of late nights, and I’m running on around 3-4 hours sleep a day. But the book will get done…it just might be later than I’d hoped for!

  8. zombiemutts
    October 26, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Needs a cow catcher welded to the front.

  9. zombiemutts
    October 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Stephen Knight :So it makes for lots of late nights, and I’m running on around 3-4 hours sleep a day.

    My oh my do I know how that goes. After a while it’s like you’re consciousness and physical body are out of sync with each other. Like they are off by a few moments and leap frogging each other.

  10. October 26, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    No kidding! I feel like crap, but at least I’ve got 80k of words to show for it.

    All misspelled, of course.

  11. October 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    You can do it Mr. Knight….YOU CAN DO IT ALL-L-L-L NI-I-I-I-IGHT LO-O-O-ONGGGGGG
    (ala Waterboy…I REALLY hope everybody got the reference the right way 😛 )

  12. zombiemutts
    October 26, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Paul Gross :You can do it Mr. Knight….YOU CAN DO IT ALL-L-L-L NI-I-I-I-IGHT LO-O-O-ONGGGGGG(ala Waterboy…I REALLY hope everybody got the reference the right way )

    Sorry lil buddy….went right over my head.

    • October 26, 2011 at 4:53 pm

      Not an Adam Sandler fan?? Personally, not his best but in the top 3

      • zombiemutts
        October 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm

        I remember now…the swamp scene where he went back home…the guy that was on SNL?

  13. October 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm


    zombiemutts :
    I remember now…the swamp scene where he went back home…the guy that was on SNL?

    close,,,outside the church after him & his girl got married 🙂

  14. October 26, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    zombiemutts :
    I remember now…the swamp scene where he went back home…the guy that was on SNL?

    It was Roy Schneider in the movie…but better than that was when he was cheering in the stands during the big game…then it was just “YOU CAN DO-O-O IT-T-T!!

    I guess that applies better here LOL

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