The most common question I get about Mad Science Institute is: When will the sequel land? I love that question because it means that people are as excited for it as I am, so I wanted to give everyone a project update.
Right now, I’m on a heck of a roll. I’m a bit more than half way through the rough draft, and it’s coming together much faster than the original did—I think because now I know all the characters and have established the world. With the original, it was like building a diorama without even knowing whether I should use wood, plastic, aluminum, or what. This time, it feels like I’m putting it together with Legos because everything is clicking in a way that I didn’t reach on the last one until towards the end of the process.
Many of you have noticed the progress bar that I installed in the left column of this blog (take a look: it’s right over there ß). Many of you have also noticed that I haven’t been bumping it up much lately. That’s because I created a byzantine little formula for how much I should bump the meter based on how much I’ve typed. The thing is that I do a lot of my writing on the bus (it’s a GREAT place to write—every seat is filled by a potential character model), and I ended up with a pinched nerve because typing on a little netbook in a cramped seat is a nightmare scenario as far as ergonomics goes.
So I switched do doing my rough draft with a pen and spiral notebook. Gone is the pinched nerve, and welcome is the explosion of words. It’s got me thinking that I should do rough drafts on paper even when I don’t have to (many writers do).
The slowdown on the progress bar is just that I’ve been generating the hand-written rough draft faster than I’ve been able to re-type it, so it doesn’t factor into the listed progress. That bar was never meant to be anything other than a rough estimate, but I may re-work my formula to better represent my completed-ness.
November is NaNoWriMo (“National Novel Writing Month”) in which authors of all levels attempt to complete the rough draft of a 50,000 word novel in a single month. It’s a bit like a marathon, except that instead of 26.2 miles it takes 30 days. Writers sometimes disappear from Facebook and Twitter during November, or they don’t return calls until December because they’re too busy driving towards the end of their story.
Even in rough draft form, that’s a lot to do in a month. In a happy coincidence, it’s also the approximate amount I have left to go on the rough draft of Mad Science 2, so I’m going to go for it. After this, it will still take months of typing, revisions, editing, layout, printing, and so forth, but this will be a huge step towards putting the sequel into your hands.
Even if I don’t get the draft done, I’ll still get pretty close. Wish me luck!
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