Hullo, hullo! Time for another update. How's your writing coming along, folks?
First, the bad news. Due to certain circumstances beyond my control, I'm informally dropping my self-imposed challenge to finish Tornado C before August 15. (I'll explain my usage of the word "informally" in a moment.) There are three reasons for this:
1) Tornado C is going to be a significantly longer book than I expected. I've finished five chapters out of twenty-five and my current word count is 15,290. Continuing on this trend, my novel will be, at the least, 70,000 words, if not longer. It may well be over eighty thousand, actually. And after revisions, who knows? This is just the rough draft estimate.
For instance, I just finished writing chapter four. (I have a prologue; thus chapter four is the fifth chapter.) The outline for chapter four was a mere 87 words long, whereas the word count of the actual chapter was over four thousand.. Most of my outlined chapters are at least twice that length (200 words or so), and one or two are three times that much (300+). I'm hoping that the written chapters won't be doubling or tripling in size!
In addition, some longer chapters in my outline may have to be broken up into two or three smaller chapters, such as my story climax.
2) Life is hectic. Besides having my grandparents here (and thus limiting my time on the computer, since I want to spend as much time as possible with them), something unexpected has turned up that will effectively stop my writing at the beginning of August. In order to fully concentrate, I'll have to write little to nothing for most of the month. I'll tell you about it when I can.
3) Also, I really don't want to push myself so hard that I write pure junk. For instance, here's a pre-revision sentence from chapter four: "Then, like a wall, he realized what was different." Needless to say, I stopped writing for the night soon afterward. Junk makes for a lot of revisions, and if I were to enter Tornado C into the OYAN novel contest (granted that I had finished it at all), I'd be entering a little-revised novel.
On the other hand, however, the sour feeling I have with yielding the challenge is somewhat eclipsed with the satisfaction I have in what I've written so far. This is going to be, by far, the longest and most epic fantasy novel I've ever written. With a vibrant story world and a long history combined with one of my best plots and strongest themes, this'll be a novel to remember! :)
And besides, something good did come out of this: I managed to start of the novel with a respectable 15,000 words in nine days.
Also, I have yet to write an "epic". My longest finished novel to date is a mere 55,000 words. (The Prophecy of Einarr is unfinished and just over 50,000.) I'd LOVE to write a 300-400 page novel, but I've never had enough material to write a long one. It seems that Tornado C will be the first!
Since Tornado C is standalone, it will also be an excellent novel with which to test the traditional publishing waters. ^_^
Now, to explain the word "informal": I said that I'm "informally" withdrawing from my challenge. That means that I'll still be participating, but not "in it to win it", so to speak. I'll still be writing at any chance I get, but I'm not going to write with a NaNoWriMo-type drive. I'm setting no daily quota; my only requirement is that I write some. And who knows? Maybe I'll end up finishing it after all. We'll wait and see - my withdrawal is open-ended.
Now, for some good news! To make up for the rather disappointing news of my drop-out, here's an excerpt from chapter four to keep you happy. Keep in mind that this has had very little revision, and let me know what you think.
"Good night." Daren gazed at the still figures. "I still liked the fiery death idea better."
"Too late now." Elijah ran his gaze over the fields. There was no sign of Wilker and his wife. He gave a quick prayer that they would have a safe journey to Vanaro and then returned his attention to his conversation.
"Now that this business is finished, we need to get out of here."
"Good idea. I vote south."
"You would." Elijah smirked. If they headed due south from their current position, they'd be near a ford over the Vandar River and almost to Celamarian soil. "We probably should have interrogated one of the soldiers before knocking them out, but from what I overheard, they're planning on pushing us to the river. They've got a picket line farther north and scout teams scouring the area west to east and south to north."
Daren muttered a curse word under his breath. "That complicates things. How many people do they have out looking for us?"
"The officer talked like an entire half of the army was scouring the countryside, but he didn't say any numbers."
"Wonderful. So they're driving us to the river." Daren stared off into the east, as if trying to see Terrilon itself.
"Is there any way across?"
"No. The nearest ford is dozens of leagues north."
"Even better. The narrowest point?"
"Geryon's Gorge. It's a bit south of here, but totally impassable. Terrilon passes through it and runs for twenty leagues before emerging."
"A geography fan, are you? Your company gets more and more interesting." Daren's tone was dry and sarcastic.
"Not really. My teacher drives me hard." Then Elijah added, "Besides having a decent grip on geography in all four countries, I can also quote fifth-century Meldese poetry in the original dialect."
"As much as I want to hear it, we'll have to save it for later."
I love dialogue. (:
How's your writing coming along, fellow writers? Give us a word count, perhaps? Maybe some snippets or quotes? I'd love to hear them. :)
Au revior, and happy writing!
Jake (because the signature thing was accidentally deleted)