I tend to find that when I am working on a novel project it generally takes about 50 pages or 12,000 words before the real basis of the story itself is charted. Usually by about page 50, about three quarters of what I had originally mapped out as the course of the story has gone into the scrap heap. Or at least that stuff is stashed away for a possible future story. Under the Darkened Moon followed this rule which I did not even consider a rule when I started writing it as it was my first project. However over time the law seems to be holding true. I have at least 50 pages completed in several other novels and each of them have resulted in 75% of the planned course being discarded or seriously revised. Be it The Half-Orc Princess, Cry of the Golden Wyvern or Her Lovely Blood, the 12,000 word rule has been a nemesis to the finest laid plans for each of them. Even a project I just started today as a sort of test story, The Arrow, completely went off in another direction by the 1,500 word mark and is, honestly, better than what I had sketched for it.
I attribute this to the fact that I seem to work better when actually writing than postulating and sketching things out. I just cannot see how everything fits together until I start actually writing the actual text. Maybe some other writers can. But I cannot. So I am just accepting this and embracing.
Under the Darkened Moon, the first novel I have come close to completing, is proceeding through the editing process. My mind numb from having read, edited, read, incorporated feedback, read, edited, incorporated feedback, etc. there is a need for in me to seek shelter elsewhere from time to time. When I cannot concentrate on editing this story, which is now so engrained in my mind that it is literally part of me, I am actively working on the development of Her Lovely Blood.
Currently that novel stands at around 30,000 some odd words and intrigues me the most to start working on seriously as my next project. I started writing Under the Darkened Moon on July 18th of last year. That means I have dedicated almost a full year to that story. Now starting its 8th edit it is getting near the end of the line for that one and it will have to be shopped around before the end of this year. I need to get involved in something new so that once this story is out the door I can hit the ground running on the next project.
So much going on. I have finalized my short story Second Chances and am going to starting submitting it for publication. Since it is based as sort of a prologue to my novel Under the Darkened Moon I had to get very close to completion of that project to work out any discrepancies first. As for that novel, it is still in the editing phase. I am about 80% done with my second serious edit. There have been three edits and four versions of the story in all (rough draft, rough edit, first edit and now second edit).
I have learned a lot by writing it including how petty other writers can be and how what one person finds thrilling others find boring. Overall however, reviews from people who have been reading it are positive. You cannot please everyone though. Lots of comments along the lines of, “better than much of what gets published,” in Fantasy literature. So I am encouraged by that.
Right now that novel is sitting as I am working on Her Lovely Blood which is turning into a story that will be not all that unfamiliar to anyone well versed in the stories of ancient Greek gods. No, it is not a copy of one such story. I only mean that it is similar in the sense of the players and how the plot will twist and turn with gods meddling here and there. The trick is going to be to keep the story seeming logical without any, hopefully, unwarranted excursions into the realm of doing something unbelievable to save the story’s heroine from peril.
Right now the novel is 16,666 words and growing by the day. It seems that it will likely be a trilogy or at the least a first book and then a sequel to complete the story arc. The overall ending is unwritten although I do have three alternatives that I am keeping in mind as the story unfolds. This first draft is being free written with very little editing so far.
I have take out a new file and begun the outlines of another novel, currently titled, Her Lovely Blood. The story is set to revolve around a dysfunctional pantheon of gods in general and the world they rule over and attempt to manipulate. Raey, God of the Hunt, seeks a challenge and sets his sights on more challenging prey than the beasts of the world. It’s information page is here.