Well, I Did It
I set out to write Scepter’s Sacrifice, composing the first two scenes on June 30, 2014. Before that, I developed the story line over a several month period, building it up from a short story to, what I hope, is a 90,000 word novel.
I developed an extensive outline, but had little success in attracting critiques of it, on Scribophile. Scribophile escapes the WordPress trap of post-post-post without anyone ever reading or commenting on what we write. Scrib requires writers to write x number of words of critique about another person’s work before they can post their own stuff. So, it guarantees comments. It doesn’t guarantee timely comments.
It’s day twenty-four. I finished Part 2, completing scenes 23 and 24. I reached 57,845 words today. My target is 90,000 words, and I should have no trouble meeting it. I have 38 scenes done, with 36 to go.
I started the day thinking I had only one scene left, Scene 23. I had decided that Deheya would enter River Bridge at the start of Part Three, so that eliminated Scene 24. With that in mind, I began writing the scene. By the time I finished, I had churned out about 3,500 words. This would have made it the largest scene in the story. After some reflection, I broke it in two pieces. Actually, I could have broken it into three scenes, but decided not to do that.
I wrote Scene 23 intending that Deheya would get on the ferry to River Bridge at the end of the scene. I ended it sooner.
It’s day twenty-four. I continued with Part 2, finishing scenes twenty-one and twenty-two down. I reached 54,262 words today. My target is 90,000 words, and I should have no trouble meeting it. I have 36 scenes done, with 38 to go.
Writing the scenes was, emotionally, very draining. Somehow, as part of the process of writing a scene, I begin to identify with the character. And I’ve really begun to do that with my main character, Deheya. In the last part of Part Two, she has gone through some terrible shocks, and her life is a mess. I actually cried as I finished scene 21. Writing scene 22 drained me.
I continued to fine-tune the outline, changing the focus of scenes 21 and 22. In addition, I have decided to end Part Two with scene 23, rather than scene 24.
It’s day twenty-two. I continued with Part 2, getting scenes nineteen and twenty down. I reached 50,729 words today. My target is 90,000 words, and I should have no trouble meeting it. I have 34 scenes done, with 40 to go.S
With the last six scenes in Part Two all focusing on Deheya, looked at the scene order, and made a tweak. Scene 19 should have been where a Black Mountain band attacked Deheya’s entourage. Scene 20 was to have been a falling out by the survivors. I reread scene eleven, where she learns, falsely, that her Father is dead. I closed the scene out with that message. After some reflection, I decided to switch the order of nineteen and twenty, and let the falling out occur first, followed by the ambush.
It’s day twenty-one. I continued with Part 2, getting scenes seventeen and eighteen out. I reached 47,217 words today. My target is 90,000 words, and I think I will have little trouble hitting it. With scene thirteen and fourteen, I have 32 scenes done, with 44 to go.
After looking at my outline, and thinking more about scene fifteen, I decided I had scene eighteen in the wrong place. So I moved it.
I wrote scene seventeen last night, but did not count the tally until this morning. I redesigned this scene. Originally, I had Pia Isa stand there as Kuha Kaun led the Black Mountain Clan out of the Summer Camp. But, I had new ideas, which I thought better served adding tension to the story. If you recall, in scene seven, when Kuha Kaun and Pia Isa fought, Kuha Kaun and Pia Isa wounded each other, but we did not know how seriously.
It’s day twenty. I continued with Part 2, getting scenes fifteen and sixteen out. I reached 44,268 words today. My target is 90,000 words, and I think I will have little trouble hitting it. With scene thirteen and fourteen, I have 28 scenes done, with 46 to go.
When I completed Part One, I left it with fourteen scenes and 16,903 words. Part Two reached sixteen scenes, and 29,387 words. That brings me to a total of 44,268 words. I’m at the halfway point in my word count, and I still have a third of the scenes in Part Two to go, eight of them. At this rate, I think I will be at 53,000 words by the time I finish Part Two, which is 8,000 words higher than I planned.
It’s day nineteen. I continued with Part 2, getting scenes thirteen and fourteen out. I reached 40,462 words today. My target is 90,000 words, and I think I will have little trouble hitting it. With scene thirteen and fourteen, I have 28 scenes done, with 46 to go.
When I completed Part One, I left it with fourteen scenes and 16,903 words. Part Two, so far, is also fourteen scenes. But the word count is much higher, at 23,559 words. When I first laid out Part Two, I despaired at having enough of it to make the story. I’ve no fears anymore.
Not that I think the scenes are necessarily very good. They are, for the most part, dialog, with some action thrown in. And my characters do tend to talk and talk and talk. When I get to revisions, I will need to keep a sharp eye out for repeating myself. Continue reading