Friday, December 2, 2016

December Progress Report

November has come and gone. Did you get your 50K word novel written?

I certainly wrote 50K words, but deleted half of them. However, I'm happy to report that I still ended up with 27,000 fairly decent words and that having written so many of them over several times, I ended up with a pretty solid second draft of new episode in The Lost Star's Sea saga. (I hope.) I'm glad to have it a'stern. It wasn't an easy piece to write. I wanted a brisk, lighthearted, fast action episode, and it didn't work like that. After half a million words, you can't make your characters do what you'd like. They have to be who they are. I felt that I had to force myself to get through it. Hopefully that doesn't show.

I've now started on the next episode. I'm hoping this one will be the lighthearted adventure I wanted to write – a short, simple adventure – say 15K words. Since I know what I want to do, with any luck, I should have it done by the end of December, even with all the holiday comings and going.

After this one there are only two more episodes that remain to be written.

For the penultimate one I want a fairly long picturesque travel piece across a large island with relatively primitive civilization, sort of like traveling 200 to 300 years ago through many parts of the world. I have the locale well pictured in my mind along with an idea for a new character I'd like to write about, but I currently have no story line to go with the journey – which is a problem. I can't just do a travelogue of wonders – there has to be some sort of plot, with dangers to faced (or avoided if Litang has his way) and something worthwhile to win, during that journey. I have one idea, but I'm not sure how it can, or if it can be fleshed out yet. The good thing is that I have a month to think about it (while I walk in circles around my basement, since it's now too cold to go out on my bike). Worst come to worst, I could probably just skip this episode entirely, since it doesn't include anything relevant to the main thrust of the story and move on to the concluding episode – which I have well in hand. Or I could buy some time and write the last episode before the travel one.

I'm happy with the way the story wraps up, especially since the plot I decided on for this volume made it rather hard to tie both volumes together. Luckily, I found a plausible way to tie up a lot of the loose ends from The Bright Black Sea, and some explanations of the mysteries of the Pela I tossed in this story along the way for "color" as well – back when they were still mysteries to me.

My goal is to have everything done in first/second draft by the end of March. Including the Castaways story I've already released, I currently have some 207K words written in pretty close to final form, and the last three episodes should add 100K more words (or more, given how I write) so The Lost Star's Sea should be a fitting companion volume to The Bright Black Sea. If all goes as planned. We'll see.

If anyone is interested in reading the next to final draft of these stories to provide volunteer feed back, proof reading, or just an early read, send me an email and I will put you on the list. There's no obligation to do anything since the book will be released for free, so I can't even offer you a free book.