Another Milestone: 500,000 Words

And counting. I nearly missed this one—only yesterday I was still three or four hundred words away from it, and I do write slowly—but another scene is in and all of a sudden I am past 500K.

This is what happens when you start with a five-bullet-point outline, a strong sense of direction and absolutely no idea what you are doing.

Continue reading “Another Milestone: 500,000 Words”

E.L.I.S.A.

The above abbreviation stands for Enforced Levity Increased Speed Authoring—which should be my new writing method—named after Elisa, Hans Christian Andersen‘s character from The Wild Swans.

the_wild_swans

One well-documented downside of this method is a possibility that one of my eleven turned-swan brothers might still end up with a wing instead of an arm, no matter how swiftly I knit the magical nettle shirts.

A. K. A. Scenes.

Have to hurry up. My doctor finally caved in and gave me the deadline.

If chemo does not work, I have months. About three. If it does, I have… well… months, still, but waaay more. Maybe even a year. So…

E.L.I.S.A to the rescue. Or so I hope.

The whole band (Verra, Venny, Torvenn, Marque, Ngale, Dae) is only a couple of hours away from reassembling at Stormhold for the first stand-off, and, perhaps—a sighting? Can barely wait to tap-type my way there.

A. T. T. On an irrelevant note (or, perhaps, rather relevant one?), just Skyped with my father.

If I had some guilt about not talking to the man for decades, no more. In about five minutes in the conversation I asked permission to be polite. Given one, I hung up.

He called back.

I hung up again.

Done.

Life is too short to deal with jerks.

On the Beginning

After listening to the archives of the Writing Excuses blog for two days in a row, I am now almost convinced that I need to modify the beginning of the book. As of now, it starts (and always had been starting) with a lengthy encyclopedic pseudo-quote:

The Great White Desert, Heart Of Lands, or, simply, the Flats, is a vast territory of thinnest silt dust, baked by the Sun into an immense ceramic plane, that spreads for thousands of miles in the very center of the Circle of Known Lands*.

Continue reading “On the Beginning”

On Character Development, or What to Do, When They Refuse to Cooperate

Having been able to successfully avoid character development glitches for most of my journey through the first draft (which is not over yet), I first encountered this problem at, roughly, the 393,000 word mark, when Dae, instead of passing by Northhill during his morning run—as he normally would do—stopped and started talking. I was knocked out of the writing process for most of the day, because I had no idea why he would do that, and what he would say, and I am still not sure I handled it gracefully, for I had to invoke my right to resolve the situation externally, which I normally try not to resort to. In this particular case, my rescue came in the form of a scream of a very distressed damsel, which interrupted their conversation and saved me from the necessity to write more of the dialogue.

Now the plot thickens.

My main story delivery vessel, Verra, had evolved into such a stubborn (or determined, if you prefer) little creature, that I am now in need of a massive inciting incident for her, just to hammer her back into my (joke of an) outline—I have about five main events in the whole book, and this is the second major one of her arc—because the “I have to do what father said” approach, which I had initially planned, she has, unflinchingly, already dismissed.

The good thing about her decisiveness, is that she will have less problems making a choice.

The bad thing, is that she is leaning toward a choice I cannot afford for her to make.

My main concern is that another personal tragedy might not work, since she is already dealing with one—way too well, I fear—and I am reluctant to eliminate all of her household.

So, in an act of desperation, I have to kill someone in order to prevent Verra from making the wrong decision and buy myself more time to figure out what to do. I really do not want to start civil unrest in the City now (the time for that has not come yet!) just so she has no choice, but to change her mind.

Writing is hard. :-|

TTOW:

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373,001. I am not joking.

Chapter Twenty—Things Considered, Chased, and Tracked—is finally finished. It might be missing a scene (I am still undecided; I wanted Verra to Heed some of Dae’s things in his absence, but I felt like it would stall the progress of the story, so for now it will do).

Now, to the next chapter… sadly, someone has to die. About time.

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371,000 going on 372,000

Quite a pathetic tally for the month of November. Some people write novels during that time, and all I managed to bang out is twelve thousand words. On the other hand, some people simply stop shaving and think that it will help their cause. Still puzzles me.

What is making me so slow, is the necessity to choreograph quite a few things (seemingly unconnected), happening at the same time with different characters in different places. Being chiefly a discovery writer does not make that easier. Nope. Quite the opposite.

It does, however, have some bright moments, especially when the important plot points suddenly start to fit together as snugly as though you were planning it to happen from the very beginning. Trust me, I did not. When it happens, it comes as a nice surprise to me. I love it when the story writes itself.

It just takes much more time…

One scene away from finishing the chapter. One short scene. Or two. I can do it.

Perhaps, if I stop editing myself as I go? Nah. Feels like I already established my method (I better have, in all the time I’ve spent on this thing), going to stick to what works.

And as for the length of the thing… well, I might end up somewhere between Gone With the Wind and War and Peace (see below). We shall see.

 

Words-by-Numbers-Full

A.T.T. The blog got a facelift—to match the main site. Something is progressing somewhere.

360,000

Another scene finished (Illai’s POV), bringing the total of words to a tad over 360,000. All Lord. It is easier to write a continuous sequence of events from the same POV than to switch all the time from one to another. If only I knew how to orchestrate the thing that is supposed to happen next, I’d probably continue, but, alas, I have yet to figure it out. So, for now, I am going back to the morning of the same day and switching the POV to Captain Northhill, just to keep the momentum…

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Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Nineteen: Things Unearthed and Announced is—rather suddenly—done. It was going to be longer, but I felt like I had reached a logical chapter break in the narration, and a scene break just would not do.
The word count is now 347,505. I remember the time, when 200,000 was a milestone. Hm.