Novel Update

This week has not been easy for me and I would like to open this post by thanking everyone who commented on Tuesday night’s post. Your condolences and thoughts meant a lot and it was wonderful to receive such a level of support.

Moving on from my personal issues, let’s talk about Darkened Daughter and my utter uselessness at keeping up with Deadlines. I was going to attempt Nanowrimo this month to see if that would encourage me to get the second draft completely written by the end of November but clearly that plan fell through the floor. Simply put, I’ve barely written all month. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that I don’t know what I’m supposed to be writing.

Anyway, I’m trying to be proactive and this evening I’m working on the first chunk of the book which is Tara’s infiltration of Turnkay’s Keep in the Witch Moors.

At the moment the main aspect missing from Darkened Daughter is character development so that is what I’m trying to resolve. In order to give each character some sense of growth and realism I’m trying to focus on each character’s individual storyline and get that written in as much depth as I can. That means writing Tara and then turning to Nicholas and then to the others. I have 50,000 words and nothing that resembles a coherent storyline.

So that is my target for the new year. By January 1st I hope to actually have a full bodied draft that I can sent to readers and say ‘Hey, here’s my story, what do you think?’ That’s the plan at least. Here’s to hopeful thinking.

I’m also well aware that I’ve basically ignored wordpress for the good portion of a month after a burst of being more active than I’ve ever been online. Apologies for that.

Unfortunately I don’t think things are going to get much better any time soon as I’m trying to direct the majority of my drive towards this novel. This life consuming, soul sucking beast of a novel.

I haven’t forgotten you.

I’m just trying to tackle one thing at a time.

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All This Fence Sitting Is Giving Me Splinters

I woke up this morning not feeling utterly destroyed, as I rightly should have seeing as my partner’s sister in law and I demolished three bottles of wine between us last night, so I’m counting today as a win.

Today is also the start of Nanowrimo, a competition that I adore and try to take part in most years. This year however, I’m not so sure.

Darkened Daughter is currently lurking around the 53,000 word mark. Now I could decided to partake in Nanowrimo and write another 50,000 words to go on top, giving me 100,000 to play around with later. Or I could ignore the event all together and just write the rest of Darkened Daughter or as is the current case, leave it sitting on my desk where it glares at me in neatly spaces lines demanding to be given attention.

I’m on the fence.

Nanowrimo is great for giving writers that push to get stuff down on paper, but can I really go into it knowing that most of the book is already written and I’m now writing chapters to fill out the world and the characters? I am in essence writing the second draft.

I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

I just need to make sure I’m actually getting new words now on paper…

First Draft Done… Sort Of

Character Design For Tara Woodfall by Antonia Brennan
Artwork by Antonia Brennan

So I’ve managed to do it! I’ve completed a first draft of a novel for the first time in my life. Whoohoo! Lets throw a party.

Okay, let’s not throw a party just yet, the hard bit is just around the corner.

Yes, I have 52,000 words of writing that sort of follows a plot line and gets my characters from where I wanted them at the start of the book to where I wanted them at the end of the book.

Yes, all my characters have appeared in that 52,000 words.

Yes, most of the major events have been included.

NO.

The last chapter has not been written.

The character development has as much meat on it as an emancipated stick-man.

Most of the characters barely do anything except those major scenes and the rest seems a lot like fluff without much relevance.

Result:

Redrafting is needed in abundance.

But on the bright side. I’ve written 52,000 words so I have something to work with. Maybe I will throw myself a small party. I shall go brew a celebratory pot of tea.

I’ve achieved something I hadn’t before. I know know that I can get this far so why not further.

All the same. Wish me luck with editing.

Oh Look. I’ve Run Out Of Rope… Drat.

I Just wrote myself off a cliff.

Well sort of.

Darkened Daughter is now 500 words away from the halfway point and I thought I knew what was going to happen in every chapter between now and the end.

Apparently this was not true. I did not know what was going to happen, because my sneaky little brain decided to derail things and throw up a new event that now means one of my character will be out of commission for a couple of chapters. This mean I can’t write chapters eighteen and nineteen as planned, because it simply won’t make sense. ┬áReplanning is now required.

Of course I knew that this would happen. It always does when I try to write something.

I’m also aware that every single chapter I’ve written so far is too short for its content, bar one that is just short full stop but somehow works.

Redrafting will probably have this novel reaching far beyond its 80,000 word target, but I’m not going to say that’s a bad thing because I love a chunky book and I want this to be a book that I can pick up and love. I want people to read this book and think ‘Wow! This is such a full world!’

But for now I’m going to focus on replanning chapters eighteen and nineteen, and worry about how the story is only skin and bones once the first draft is done.

*Sigh*. Back to work I suppose.

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I’ve been buying mugs again. I’ll run out of space soon, not that it will stop me.

Darkened Daughter Update

Today all I could think about was writing, but then I got home and suddenly all that motivation decided it would rather talk to me later and right now there was a really good episode of Star Gate on so it should watch that instead. I’m bad at that. I’m bad for telling myself that something I was really motivated about just an hour before could be done just as well tomorrow and really, right now the sofa/bed/chair is damn, flipping comfy.

I’m getting better though.

See tonight I sat down, [after Star Gate] and wrote another 600 words of Darkened daughter and over the last week and bit I’ve written close to 12,000 words of the first draft. I’m a quarter of the way through and I now how a fully mapped out plan of where my characters, and more importantly my plot line, are going.

Don’t get me wrong, it sucks. It sucks a lot. I’m going to have to go back and tear it limb from limb to try and work out why there’s an arm where clearly, there should be a leg. That, at the moment, is not my priority though. My priority is finishing draft one and that’s what I’m doing.

I’m further than I’ve ever been before and as of yet, the steam’s not run out. So I’m off to add some more words to that 600 that I’ve written and hopefully, in three weeks, Darkened Daughter will be on the page. It’s sort of my own, personal Camp Nanowrimo, just half a month late.

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Tara from Darkened Daughter