I'm still plugging away. The toddler monster seems to finally be learning what bed time (and eve nap time) is once more and the last of my outside of family commitments is over this weekend. Since the last post I've been squeezing in more writing time. I was able to do a skype talk with a pro author and he gave me some advice about my goals and some general plotting techniques. It went pretty well and we're going to meet face to face at a con in January (I hope).
Meanwhile I've put aside my short stories for now and I'm writing on the novel. There is a lot I need to readjust. As has been the case at least 3 times now I've come up with a better beginning, but I'm holding off on writing it. Instead I wrote my last scene and started writing in tandem the climax and denouement and the planning scene leading up to it. And it was falling flat. I've spent the last few days trying to figure out how to make things suck more for my leads, and tonight I hit on a better solution. I've been rewriting and shuffling words around and hopefully I'll have a good scene written by tomorrow. Then I can write a new ending and starting working my way backwards until I ca slot in the scenes I've already written.
I'm over 30K into this novel but the progress has been jumpy enough I'm not sure how much will make it into the final novel. But we are nearly to the halfway point for finished word count. I expect the draft zero word count will end up a little higher then my goal. But draft 1 should end up fairly tight. I'm hoping I can power through the next months and end up with a draft by new years. We'll see how life goes.