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Inspirational Reads

It's Been A Long Week...

February 28, 2007

...and it's only Tuesday.

I've got a sick kid at home. She started out with the flu (we think) and it's moved into an ear infection (we know). If she did have the flu, it was amazingly short flu. However, the ear infection is pretty nasty. She does have medicine for it, though. I think she probably had a cold, and then her ear got the infection, and she still has the cold. Either way, we've got serious Victorian heroine melodrama going on at the house. You'd think she has the plague and that each breath she draws could be her final one. The weak coughing followed by weak whimpers have been a constant backdrop for everything since Friday evening. That's why you've only gotten guesses as to what Harry Potter is going to do in lieu of real updates.

Still, I'm here to brag update about my own progress. Not only was my daughter's illness affecting us all, but also I just completed the largest chapter in my book to date (I'm guessing that the battle scenes--which I personally think I do very well on when I write them--will be larger). I finished chapter 21 tonight and then promptly eschewed chapters 22 and 23 and started in on chapter 24 (24 is the continuation of the action from 21...so you can tell that something big must have happened in 21, right?). I got about two pages written, and then boredom set in, and I started wandering around reading other blogs out there and posting my predictions for who is going to win the conference tournaments of the 31 major conferences in the world of college basketball. Yes, I am that sad.

Back to chapter 21. It's big. It's real big. It's 31 pages big. The thing is, four distinct events took place in it, which is why it was so big. But there was really no place to break it off and make it into two chapters, so I continued with one. I'm hoping that not all of my chapters leading up to the finale will be this big (I already know that chapter 24 will be short...a typical 14-17 page chapter), but I know that as I begin to weave together the three major plot threads that there will need to be some lengthy chapters because, well, nothing ever fits that neatly together. Plus, there will be battles raging, and there's a lot of intrigue that will go into the battles. It won't (hopefully) be just hack-and-slash.

Another reason that the chapter turned out so long is that I went by the old rule of thumb when it comes to writing: if something bad can happen to your character, then do it. So, I did. Neither of my human characters came out completely unscathed, which provided for character development aplenty. I also purposely added a bit of information for the "reveal" at the end of the book. It's a fairly punch-you-in-the-face clue as to what's going on, but I'm hoping that I've been vague enough on the details of the other clues I have written into the story that things won't be bleedingly obvious ten chapters from the end. I'm also fairly happy with how I brought up an older event in the story and used it again. Another rule is that comedy works in threes. I don't know if it's a rule or not, but I'm going to say that drama works in twos, and so I won't be bringing that element of the story up again throughout the rest of the book. Twice is nice; anything more and Elmer's will be asking for Barbaro's carcass.

By the numbers:

Word Count: 111,147
Page Count: 363

Obviously, I'm going to blow past 120,000 words, probably this week. At one point, that was a goal for the size of the story. Now, I laugh in its measly face.
I'm going to especially focus on chapter 24 and probably 25 this week. If I get those two done, then I'll have one story arc wrapped up leading into the final chapters. More importantly, that one story arc completes the roles of three of my five (or six) main characters. That'd be wrapping a nice big bow around part of my story. Granted, I'll still have chapters to finish that are in between those...and, of course, 7 and 10 are looming behind me still. At some point I'm going to have to stop ignoring them and actually get to working on them. For now, I have my goals set and I plan to follow through with them. More later this week.

4 comments:

Chemgeek said...

So, for those of us keeping score at home (or trying) what book is this an update for? And, what other books are you working on (or incubating) right now. I went back through the 'book' posts, but after a few homebrews and a current lack of sleep, reading and thinking take too much effort right now.

the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Lack of sleep? Why ever would you be suffering from a lack of sleep? I don't get it.

These updates were all for The Boar War, which is my current project. I decided last summer that if I could get a single-shot, stand alone story published, it would help me get the books in the series I'm working on published more easily. Name recognition is obviously important when it comes to these things.

The other book I've finished is titled King of Thistles, but it was so massive that I had to break it in half (it was over 1300 pages in manuscript form). So, I split it in half and have been rearranging chapters based on how I want the action to unfold. With that in mind, I had to change the title of the first half of the book to King of Shadows (which really ruins all of my internet personae) and the second half now becomes King of Thistles.

Both of these stories won't get any real polish put on them until after Boar War gets finished, which I'm hoping (barring further ear infections) will be done sometime this month.

So...there's an update on the update.

Ψ*Ψ said...

When (I'm assuming there's not an "if" here) those get published, you should offer a discount for blog readers. :)
So who ARE your picks for the conference tournaments?

Chemgeek said...

Thanks. Now, I'm up to speed.

And yes, who are your conference picks? On the national scene, I'm pulling for Ohio State (I'm such a Big Ten whore). And, it doesn't look like there will be a repeat champ. Not unless Florida figures out how to play again.