Some Writing Days Are Just Fun

6/27: 682 words. While driving home from our family vacation, I thought through the scene that I wrote this morning. I already knew it line-by-line. So when it came time to write it, the words just poured onto the page. There were a few lines of dialogue that surprised me, but otherwise it came out just as I envisioned it. A rare enough occurrence in its own write. Not all writing days are fun, but this one was.

Finding the Next Project

When I finished the first draft of Forging Bonds in early May, I thought I knew what my next fiction writing project would be. I was pretty sure I was going to finish one of the novels that I had been working on before I started The Zauberi Chronicles. But I was wrong.

Once I realized, that book wasn’t the story I wanted to tell right now, I didn’t know what I was going to work on. I wrote a few scenes in a horror story that I outlined, but it’s so dark and grim that I don’t know if I’ll write it. Then I outlined part of a murder mystery/suspense story that I want to write, but didn’t get beyond the outlining stage.

Then a tried of mine said a peculiar thing about why they don’t do the tooth fairy thing at her house. A phrase she use lodged itself in my brain. Several weeks after the conversation, the phrase sprouted a story. Now I’m several chapters into that story. I have only the vaguest notions of what the story is about so far. I guess I’ll be figuring it out as I write, which is different than my normal course.

The biggest difficulty in writing the tooth fairy book so far was deciding what perspective to write it from. All of The Zauberi Chronicles books were third person with multiple POV characters. But that didn’t feel write for this book. I wrote the first chapter in both first and third person to see which one felt right.

First person won the day. It’s a bit of a different writing experience, but I’ve used it before in my short story “The Murder Tree” (Amazon link). It should be fun, and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.

Here’s the Word Count Chronicles version of what this has looked like so far:

  • 6/14: 300 words (Chapter 1)
  • 6/18: 391 words (Chapter 1)
  • 6/22: 170 words (Chapter 1)
  • 6/23: 375 words (Chapter 1)
  • 6/24: 520 words (Chapter where the protagonist meets the mentor)
  • 6/25: 429 words (Chapter where the protagonist meets the mentor)
  • 6/26: 551 words (Second encounter between protagonist and mentor)

Oh, I also finished my non-fiction book about getting your creative work done: Wrote Your Novel One Day at a Time: How to Write a Novel While Having a Career, a Family, and a Life. The book releases on 11/1, but you can pre-order the e-book at your favorite online stores.

Finally, an update on my goal of writing 100,000 words for the year — I’m presently sitting at 83,821. It’s been a really productive year so far.

Finishing the First Draft of Forging Bonds

5/2: 954 words. I didn’t expect to finish today, but the 3YO woke up crying about 15 minutes before my alarm was set to go off. So I got her resettled and decided there wasn’t any point in laying back down. I took a quick shower and jumped back into the story. I really thought I would finish tomorrow or the next day, but the extra minutes gave me just enough time to finish the final chapter.

The first draft of the novel has it coming in at 73,988 words. I don’t yet know whether I’ll end up adding or subtracting more during the editing process. This is the longest novel to date, by a couple of thousand words. And I expect it to remain so.

This also brings my yearly word count to 67,378, which is far more than I would have imagined for this early in the year. It’s probably good that I’m so far ahead of schedule. Before I start editing this book, I have another project to edit for a children’s book that I’m planning to publish with Scarlet Oak Press.

Writing the Final Chapter

5/1: 556 words. Early in the writing of Forging Bonds, I planned to finish it by late May. Barring some catastrophe, I’ll be a couple weeks ahead of schedule when I finish this later in the week. And I can tell you that I’m already enjoying the tone of the final chapter in the trilogy.

Update: I wrote another 485 words this afternoon and brought myself to nearly the mid-point of the chapter (at least structurally, if not literally).

Negative Word Count

4/30: -15 words. Despite having one chapter left to write, I did some editing work today. At the end of it, when I checked Scrivener for how many words I’d written, I was in the red.

Finishing the Penultimate Chapter

4/29: 692 words. I finished the last of the climactic chapters. Then I realized that the chapter I had slotted after it was totally superfluous. Which means, I finished the penultimate chapter without realizing it. I only have one chapter left to write, and then I’ll be done with the first draft of Forging Bonds.

Finally, a Normal Writing Session Again

4/28: 592 words. It’s been a few days since I had a regular writing session. It was good to get back to normal this morning. I wrote the lead-up to one of those “you thought everything was finally okay but you were wrong” scenes. I get to write the actual scene tomorrow. Until two or three days ago, it’s an episode that didn’t exist within the story, but I think it’s a good addition. Can’t have the reader getting too comfortable.

Chaos Running Rampant

4/27: 94 words. I didn’t think I was going to get any words today. I had to start work at 5:20am, and it was one of the most chaotic and hectic days I’ve had in a long time. I took just a couple of minutes to put some words down this evening.

A New Writing Experience

4/25: 922 words. I wrote about half of the last of four climactic chapters. It went well, but I realized that the way I’d outlined it, I had the characters doing something the hard way instead of taking an easier option. The problem was I hadn’t give them a reason they had to do the hard thing. So now I have to come up with an obstacle that prevents them from doing the thing the easier way.

4/26: 1238 words. A couple of nights ago I sent a half-dozen chapters to my editor with a note that said, “I very much need your opinion about two of the climactic chapters of the book.”

When I woke up this morning, I had message waiting for me: “I finished reading these chapters. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about [the chapters in question]. How do you feel about them?”

That confirmed my uncertainties. So I spent the next hour walking through each of the characters decisions in the chapters, why they made the decision, and whether it was the most plausible course of events. I felt much more confident after doing all that work.

Unless I use that as part of an Author’s Note at end of the book, it will never see the light of day. But it was extraordinarily useful. After my editor read all my explanations, when talked about ways that I could improve the chapters because not everything I was thinking had made it onto the page.

Longer Than Expected

4/24: 1515 words. I felt much better about today’s chapter than either of the two preceding chapters. But the same thing happened with this one that happened with the preceding chapter. It ended up about twice as long as expected, so I’m having to split it into two chapters. Relatedly, over the course of the book, it went from what I thought was going to be the shortest book in the trilogy to being the longest.