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Inspirational Reads

Six Figures

February 18, 2007

Have I mentioned that I only have one dragon left to kill?

That's not the reason why I haven't posted an update in about a week or so. I have actually been busy writing, but I just promised myself I wouldn't post again until I reached a couple of goals. Obviously, they have been reached.

I went through the other day and looked at a lot of my older posts. Some of them, especially early on when I was taking myself a bit too seriously (but in those days, I didn't have much in the way of readership, so I could get away with it), were atrocious, but they amused me. More than a few times I saw reference to not having completed chapters 4, 7, and 10. I laughed, because as of the other day, I still had not completed chapters 4, 7, and 10. Naturally, that meant that I needed to focus more on killing dragons on a video game rather than type.

I have, however, been typing away on my keyboard, especially over the past few days. I've gotten quite a bit done, at the expense of my sanity, hygiene and social life--but the wind chill over the weekend has been unpleasant, so why go outside? (I'm sure anyone from oh, say, Minnesota would scoff at my new, carpetbagger definition of "wind chill", but I'll be the first to admit I've gotten Southern Soft over the past four years). I figured I might as well sacrifice sleep as I have two kids, and I'm slated for very little sleep over the next 15.5 years, anyway. At the least. What a happy way of thinking about it, huh? It's made much worse by my daughter having mostly outgrown her need for an afternoon nap. That just shoots my weekends all to hell. But, today, while she was watching Mulan, I was sitting here at the computer working away gleefully (and she was giving me helpful suggestions like "My daughter Madeleine is beautiful and I love her so much"...which I had an awful hard time explaining to her why I couldn't pop that into the story, but she seemed to accept my explanation and move on) and enjoying that which I was writing. Last week, I was writing, but I wasn't enjoying it very much. A lot of it seemed to be there just to be there. It advanced the story, but didn't leave that sort of page-turning experience that I get sometimes while writing a chapter or a passage that I really enjoy.

So, to update. I have finished chapter 20, which was one of the goals for the week. That didn't get me quite to 100,000, so I looked at my spreadsheet and did the mental equivalent of kicking a dead horse to revive it and dove back into chapter 4 (I do realize that in one week I was working on 4 and 20, which made me giggle just a little bit). Surprisingly, chapter 4 was easy to complete. It's like the words just flowed onto the screen/page, and thusly, I completed my second goal, which was to finish chapter 4. That achievement did put me over the 100,000 word mark...and there was much rejoicing.

Oh, let's give a quick completion run down, shall we?

Done: Prologue, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, epilogue
Started, but not finished: 7, 10, 21

I'll probably next work on 21. I've got this one planned out well in my head, as well. It was kind of blurry up until I finished 20, but I actually finished 20 early, thinking that it flowed well in that direction. So now I have 21 to finish, but that's a taller order, since I only have a couple of paragraphs done. 20 did offer me the opportunity to go looking into herblore some more and find a common plant that is used as a soporific. I don't know what the deal is, but with this story, herblore has become a very important part of the telling of the tale. I didn't necessarily intend for that to happen, but it's been a happy side effect. I blame it on reading about the extraction of digitalis from foxglove (which was something that was alluded to on Psych a couple of weeks ago, and I was able to figure things out thanks to it...though when I saw the flower bed full of foxglove, I didn't know what it was, so I didn't latch onto the solution to the mystery nearly as quickly as I thought I should...oh bother) and it's role in the pharmaceutical community. I love enriching myself while enriching my story.

So, here's the vital numbers:

Word Count: 101146
Page Count: 331

As I said, my next goals will be to hit Chapter 21, and I still have 7 and 10 that need to be completed. I've reported several times that I need to finish 7 before 10 because it places different characters in different places that I need in order to begin working 10 out. After 21, naturally, comes 22, and 22 is where I begin weaving the final thread into the ending for one of the main characters. If I can get to it, 23 also moves another two main characters closer. I have 26 down in my spreadsheet as being the beginning of the climax, so I'm edging ever closer. However, with these latest successes under my belt, it's time to go off and celebrate. And this calls for a celebration in the only way I know how: Time to kill the Ultimate Dragon. See you guys in a week.


Chemgeek said...

Yeah, 'wind chill.' Right. I'll give you a break. Since you've spent time in the midwest (even Indiana) you know what a real wind chill is like.

Congrats on the progress and thanks for the update. Having never written any thing other than a dissertation and thesis (both of of which had horrible plot lines and lousy character development) I enjoy being an outsider looking in at the process.