Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Good Grief - More Tornado C!


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)

7 comments:

Hannah Joy said...

Wow! That sounds really good! Your book, I mean. I love the dialogue!

And I see what you mean about "dropping out". That's the reason I haven't totally pushed myself to HAVE to write every day a certain amount or whatever. I don't want to write because I "have" to. But wow...70,000-80,000+ words is a LOT! Hopefully this works out really well for you!

Ely G. said...

ehhh...I'm right at 120 college ruled notebook pages(I juggle the computer with two other computeraholics, so I choose to do most of my writing by page), which is the longest I've ever managed to write and not have Writer's Block kill my creativity off. Not sure about the word count. But the past couple of days have been rough for me, so I'm slacking off a little too.

Here's an excerpt. I'm not sure if it's any good.

"Hello? Earth to Eric!" Fletcher waved a hand in front of my face. "Are you taking a nap? Having a seizure? Do you need CPR? If so, I am not doing mouth to mouth on you, dude. Just saying."
I grinned at my friend. "I'm fine. Just thinking about what you said earlier."
Fletcher stretched and leaned back on his elbows, his eyebrows raised like Spock's. "You should pursue that as a career."
"What, thinking?
He rolled his eyes. "Of course not, you dork. You'd be so poor, you'd starve to death."

meh. Methinks my writing is going to need a serious second draft... :)

Ely

Leilani Sunblade said...

Exactly how long is an epic, Jake?

It's funny, though, we seem to be on the same track with novel lengths. To date, the longest novel I have written is about 44,000 words, after revision. However, my current novel is looking like it's going to be considerably longer.

I love the excerpt, by the way. Good luck with your writing!
-Leilani

P.S. How does something realize something like a wall?

Mikaela said...

Well, will you be picking up the contest again? Will you be mentioning us (in your Author's Notes)? ^O.o

Well, my story is a great 704 words! Blame it on the small trips I've been having with my family and the English I was doing in Summer School. But my story has character, anyway!

Here's an excerp:

She opened her eyes, and was met by the sight of a metallic ceiling. She felt confused, but she didn’t know why. She searched her mind in order to find out why, but she came up with no answer. She blinked. 'Where am I?' she asked herself. Her heart began to beat faster when she couldn’t remember where she was, and it sped up more when she realized when she couldn’t remember who she was. This is not good. She tried to take a deep breath, and found out she couldn’t. 'Somebody! Please…help…me!'

It's called "Andromeda Star". :)

Abbey said...

Wow! 70,000-80,000 words!! That's a lot! Please don't try to finish it all in 17 days... That would kill anyone.

I love your excerpt! Very nice - diologue is fun.
One tiny thing if you are looking for critiques.....
Elijah says, "....they're planning on pushing us to the river...."
Then a few sentances later Daren says, "So they're driving us to the river."
In my eyes that's a little redundant, but you can keep it if you want. =)

I love everyone else's excerpts to!

I'm kind of stuck in the same -super-busy-during-summer rut that everyone else is in.... I have been camping this last week and managed to get a bit of writing in.... This week I was supposed to go to a conference with my youth group (where I wouldn't have been able to get any writing done) but God took my Grandpa home to live with Him on the 27th and now my family and I are going to Canada for the funeral.

Here's a small portion of what I wrote while camping.... Excuse it's un-editedness.

The next day Sebastian returned to the cottage just as breakfast was being served.
"You have a very good sixth sense of when good is being served in this cottage," Cressida greeted him when he burst in without a knock.
"Are you having biscuts and gravy? I would love some! I haven't eaten breakfast yet. Please dish me up some!" Sebastian said in a quick, excited spurt.
Cressida rolled her eyes but took another plate from the cupboard.
"You've obviously figured something out or else you wouldn't have run off like that last night," said Antony. When Sebastian didn't reply, Antony said in an impatien tone, "Well? What did you figure out?"
Everyone crowded around Sebastian in anticipation while he gulped down his breakfast.
"Barton Castle." Sebastian said between bites.
Disappointed by his answer, everyone wilted away.
"Barton Castle?" Jamie repeated.
"Of what significance is 'Barton Castle'?" Antony asked.

Anonymous said...

How sad. : P Will you still try to submit something to the OYAN contest? (I just realized that I'm going to age out and can't POSSIBLY have my novel done by then. Argh.)

My writing is coming along... ish. We started school again yesterday, so I won't be able to write THAT much, but I'm attempting! Still in your challenge! : ) Since everyone else is doing excerpts, heehee, I'll do one.

"It's so weird!” I said, almost laughing. “I really want him to remember everything, but... not how he treated me or how or why he was so mean to me. Not anything like that.” I looked at her. “Do you think he will?”

“Probably.”

I took a deep breath. “Do you think he'll treat me the same way when he does remember?”

Natalie shrugged. “I have no idea. But this is what you need to do while he's remembering – try to rebuild your relationship with him. Pretend you have amnesia, too, and can't remember the mean things he said to you. Pretend it never happened. Take the blessing God's given you and run with it.”

daughteroflight

Farrah D said...

I love the excerpt Jake! When you finish Tornado C if you need any pre-readers I'm here!!! (even though you have several offers already!) ;)

May God bless all of your writings and make them AMAZING and for His glory!