Tough day at the keyboard

I should be posting this over at Patreon, but it’s not the sort rubbish I want cluttering up people’s email, so I’m writing my thoughts here instead. The nice thing about Substack is that even though it’s designed as an email first platform, they’ve generously built in this nice blogging option too.

So. A thing I like to I do occasionally is viciously troll writerly Twitter with my daily word counts, especially when I’m on a deadline roll. Three thousand words here. Four thousand there.

Yeah, nah, not so much today, champ. Think I topped out at a bit over 300 words.

I blame Havoc.

I wanted to write him a spolsion-filled splodey action festival of fkn splosions because he was falling asleep on the Patreon banana lounge during all of the dialogue driven character moments as the narrative sorted itself out.

I figured I’d do this impressionistic broad brush sketch of violence suddenly erupting all over the planet and structure the chapter as a sort of land, air and sea combat montage.

Had some pretty good notes from Dirk for a German Border Guard scene. Thought I’d hop across to the Pacific and pay a visit to the first generation of Havoc Class hunter-killer submarines. (See what I did there?) And as a tip o’ the propeller beanie to Dirk for his research work, I’d give him a fighter wing to fly into combat against the whole Red Army Air Force.

That’s where I fell down the rabbit hole. Realising I know nothing about air combat, I decided to do some research. And here I am, a day later and three thousand words short of where I wanted to be.

Coincidentally, the last major aerial combat campaign was fought in the 1950s, when WW3.1 is set. Over Korea. And I do recall reading an excellent literary novel about the air war in Korea. It’s somewhere on one of my two dozen e-readers. Wasted an hour trying to find it. Spent another hour diving into the wikipedia page for the old F-5 fighter.

Generally faffed about and did not write anything worth a damn.

I’ve let myself down. I’ve let Tom Clancy down. I’ve ruined alternate history techno thriller mashups for everyone.