The White Flag Is Waving

The white flag is waving, but it does not signify surrender. Not today. This is the white flag of stock car racing. And it means there is one more lap to go.

Seeking Sanctuary is in the final lap. With 60,000 words in the books and four chapters left to write, the end is nearly in sight. A few more turns, and we will be in the home stretch.

As long as the Ending Payoff (Act 3) goes according to plotted plan — spoiler: things almost never work out exactly as plotted — then I should be able to write through to the finish in the next couple of weeks.

Here’s what the last week’s word counts have looked like:

8/23: 855

8/24: 431

8/25: 1014

8/26: 209

8/27: 186

8/28: 398

8/29: 435

8/30: 225

Last week I wrote, “With any luck, my work schedule will be cooperative…”. What I haven’t seemed to have learned yet is that my schedule is never cooperative when traveling. And I never get as many words down as paper as planned and hoped for.

Big Things Afoot for Novel No. 2

I’ve only got six chapters left to write in that novel that I had been calling Walls Ascending, the sequel to Vulcan Rising. Even before I started writing it nine months ago, that had been the working title. But this past week, I decided the title wasn’t compelling enough and did not fit the novel that I had actually penned.

So in some pretty exciting news, the novel has a new title and a new cover. Here is the cover reveal for the second Zauberi Chronicles novel, Seeking Sanctuary.

The Zauberi Chronicles Book 2 Seeking Sanctuary J. W. Judge

The words have been really flowing as I approach the end of the book. Here’s what the last week has looked like:

8/15: 1342

8/17: 371

8/18: 1097

8/19: 72

8/20: 673

8/21: 1121

8/22: 785

With any luck, my work schedule will be cooperative, and I can get this thing wrapped up in the next weeks.

Word Count Chronicles: A Plot Coming Together

8/13: 880 words

8/14: 431 words

Now that I’m into writing the final 1/3 of Walls Ascending, I figured it was time to sort out how the thing is going to come together at the end. I have been struggling with it for a long time, and it has been significant source of consternation as I’ve been writing it.

I got to the point where I knew (more or less) how the Third Act (Ending Payoff) would go. But I was having a lot of trouble figuring out how the second half of the Middle Build was going to get us there without it feeling contrived.

Yesterday, I spent some time outlining the rest of the plot and making notes about how the final nine chapters of the book would go. Now I feel like I’m finally ready to get this done. The novel is sitting at just over 50,000 words now, with about 20,000 more to go.

Even though I feel like I have it all figured out now, I know that everything is subject to change. Either in the writing or editing process. It’s happened before, and it’s bound to happen again.

Word Count Chronicles: Low Daily Average

8/3: 246 words. I’m making progress, just not as quickly as I’d prefer. I’ve been averaging about 200 words/day for the last few days. At this rate, I’m not going to finish by the end of September like I’ve planned. So I’m going to have to kick things into a higher gear.

Word Count Chronicles: I’m Still Here

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted, but I’m will writing. I’m now about 2/3 through Walls Ascending. I’ve had two different people read the first half of the book, and they’ve both given me the green light that it’s on course to be good.

Here’s what my word count has looked like for the last two weeks:

  • 7/17: 261
  • 7/18: 192
  • 7/20: 807
  • 7/21: 573
  • 7/22: 396
  • 7/23: 151
  • 7/24: 382
  • 7/25: 98
  • 7/26: 1049
  • 7/27: 140
  • 7/28: 106
  • 7/30: 438
  • 7/31: 130

I’m no long on pace to finish it by the end of August, but with any luck (and some consistency that I’ve been lacking lately), I should finish by the end of September.

Word Count Chronicles: Coming Out of Halftime

7/15: 766 words. It was a long time coming, but I’m slowly piecing together what the third quarter of Walls Ascending will look like. When I started writing the first chapter in the book’s second half yesterday, it felt a lot like running out of a tunnel from the locker room after halftime. Now, we’ll see if I make the necessary adjustments and perform well.

Word Count Chronicles: Juxtaposition between Real Life and Writing

7/8: 725 words. Today, I had to write a particularly grisly and visceral murder scene for Walls Ascending. I had known for several days that I was coming up on it. But even still, the writing of it put me in a heavy mental space.

I was most of the way through the scene when my wife and kiddos came bopping into the room just as happy as can be, and greeting me good mornings. I wanted warn them, “Y’all be careful. I just did a murder. There’s blood and brain matter all over the place. And I’m still trying to extract this piece of metal from somebody’s head.”

Instead, I just greeted everyone and enjoyed the odd moment that exhibited the difference between real life and what was transpiring on my computer screen.