I'm normally very leery of things like "National Novel Writing Month," but since I am in the middle of writing a novel I thought I'd make use of the opportunity to make semi-regular reports on what I'm doing and how much progress I'm making.
Our story so far: The book I'm writing is provisionally titled Corsair. If I come up with a better title, I'll change it. It's near-future science fiction, as hard as I can make it, about space pirates. Specifically, pirates hijacking payloads of Helium III on their way from the Moon to Earth. Note that these pirates aren't stupid: they're not floating around in space with slide rules clutched in their teeth. They're sitting in control rooms on Earth, using remote-operated unmanned vehicles to capture the unmanned cargo carriers they want to rob.
Today I was working on Chapter 3. I started the book last spring, and banged along at a great rate until June . . . at which point I discovered some enormous plot holes which required going back and throwing out a lot of what I'd done. I also took on some work for hire, a roleplaying sourcebook which took most of August and September to complete. Now I'm back on track on the novel, but I had to start at the very beginning.
With an electronic word processor, this isn't very hard, really. I can go through my earlier drafts and cut out passages I can salvage, paste them into my new chapters as I go and write new paragraphs to knit them together. Before about 1990, revision was a lot harder. Back in 1985 I wrote a longish story on my typewriter, and then re-edited it by literally cutting pages apart with scissors and taping the bits together in the order I wanted. (And I had to keep getting more water to wet down my clay tablets, too!)
Today I patched together about half of Chapter 3, and I'll probably do the rest tomorrow. Right now my protagonist (definitely not a hero, not even to himself) is stuck in a sweltering desert workshop in southwestern Pakistan, building his pirate space probe. He's starting to get the suspicion that his criminal associates may have their own agenda, and that he may be in danger from them, but he's confident he can handle any problems. Heh, heh, heh.