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”


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.


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.


Life is too short to deal with jerks.

Another Thing for the Mantel

After typing out three scenes, which apparently wrote themselves completely against my will—and are now demanding at least one follow-up scene—I have another addition to my already filling up mantel.

Torq—Marque’s horse—has just joined the ranks of Lady Seyanna,  Onnoquo, and the pain-enhancing potion.

Lady Seyanna Hillborn has no lines whatsoever, and in my honest opinion, in novels people without lines do not deserve to have names. It was however, difficult and awkward to refer to her ladyship as just “a mid-tier local noblewoman” in the scenes where she is mentioned, so now I have to deal with her somehow.

She resides in the City, so the most likely access to her would be through Illai’s POV.

I just need to invent a purpose for her.

What if… Ah. Got it. It is relatively easy…

The two (or three) scenes, which just materialized out of nowhere, were a new (or somewhat new, as the person was brushed past before) character introduction through real interaction with the people we already know.

The person is now fleshed out and acting—a few days before I initially planned to activate the character—and I have a chance to tie together several seemingly unrelated plot lines in one tight knot. It might, however, end up being a distraction from the main story line, so I am not yet set on it… we shall see.


The talking pet bird clearly needs more say in the narrative. Yes, pun intended. Shall work on that. Access POVs: Venny? Northhill? Verra? Nobody else is in the Castle at the moment. Hm…

The pain enhancer is still the hardest to deal with. Why in the Void had I thunked up such a thing?

I should be able to put it to good use, though—after all, I had not a clue how Marque’s Gift actually worked for the better part of the book, and now the magic of it is shaping up rather believably, at least I think it is…

So… The pain enhancer. That might need some work…


TTOW: 386,500 or close

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.


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.



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

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.


Spat on everything, sat down and hammered 800 words in two hours. Probably crap—or mostly crap—but the camping scenes are finished, and I can get back to the Castle. At this point whatever moves me and all my people to the finish is good.


TTOW: 339,529 out of All Lord knows how many. Take that, 90,000-word novelists.

On Horses

I should give Verra a horse (raven black small Highlander mare with a meaningful—or whimsical—name), which she used to ride, but cannot anymore because of Captain’s inability to assign an appropriate convoy to her.

She would think of her, when contemplating her options of escaping the Castle, maybe even visit the stable to pet her, while thinking about the offer she just received.

Marque recalls Verra being good on the horseback in the beginning already, I may expand on that a bit…