The Dark Lands Week 1

Today is the end of the first week writing my novel and I thought I would give a little update. I set a goal of a 1,000 words a day and I have met that. I stand at 7,412 right now. I also decided that my original word goal of 65,000 is probably a little small and have decided to make it 70,000 for now. This is about how long Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett is and that felt like an okay size for YA novel.

The structure of the story has formed pretty well. I decided to tell it from multiple view points and I am really happy with that decision. It really makes the story feel like it is moving at a very brisk pace.

So far I have 5 view points and I am thinking about adding 1 more but I am not sure. Each of the characters I have written so far have worked pretty well but I am going to have to tighten a few of them up. Three characters stories are really rocking right now. When I write their parts it comes really easy. The other two haven’t been as easy and I am going to have to take a hard look at them when I am done.

I am not doing any rewriting or editing right now. I am just going to get words on paper. Finish and then go from there. It has been interesting not having an outline to work from. I have really had some fun making up things as I go along. I have already completely changed my mind on where one of the character’s story is going to go. This is a direct result of liking something that I wrote and thinking, “I like that, I am going to go that way instead”. I know you are amazed at my deep intellectual thought process, who wouldn’t be.

Since the story is a dark fantasy but also a young adult book I have been a little worried that the story might be too dark. I decided to read the first few pages of the story to my 7th and 8th graders. I wanted to hear it out loud and see what my students thought. Most of them felt that it was definitely creepy but not over the top. They seemed to like it but I can’t really count that. They were just amazed that anyone would want to write for the fun of it.

I have a title for the book now but I am still unsure about the name of the series. I have it plotted out a little in my head and I am thinking that it will probably be about 4 books to tell the whole story.

Ultimately it has been a good week. I have really enjoyed writing. I am having fun for the first time in a long time. I am happy with where my head is when it comes to this project. I would of course love to be a published author but it really has become about the joy of the work. Something that has been missing for a long time for me.

I think that thinking about it this way has allowed me to ignore all those self doubts. Just have fun, write everyday and when it’s over know that you finished what you set out to accomplish. Anything else that comes from it is just the cherry on top.

Just for the heck of it here’s a sentence from the book:

Markus could feel a stinging sensation shoot up his leg. It was quickly followed by blood dripping down his leg and onto the floor. Markus began to cry again. He bit down on his tongue and cheek and glared at the shadow man.

“I will just have to start with this until Rorg gets back,” said Harrick.

Markus took a deep breath and gave his best shot at a smile.

“I’m ready when you are,” said Markus.

About csdaley

C.S. Daley was born in California but has spent most of his life in his imagination. His first short story written in third grade, the now classic "Close Encounters of the Turd Kind," was sold to his next door neighbor for a quarter. The neighbor promptly demanded a refund. An unhealthy obsession with the writings of Neil Gaiman, Christopher Moore, and Terry Pratchett have left his mind warped and broken. He spends most of his evening swilling down coffee while tapping at a keyboard under the watchful eyes of his kittens. They are there to make sure he doesn't snap. He likes to write fantasy for adults and teens.

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