The Dark Lands Week 4

I am beginning to understand that my practice novel was an exercise in writing stamina. Could I put words on paper? Could I still finish a story, even if ultimately it was unsuccessful? It was definitely practice at getting words on paper but I stayed with it too long.

This book feels like I am practicing at the actual craft of writing. Even if it is never published, I will be better for the trying. Unlike the last book which was written in first person, as a diary. This book has required me to think about plot, characters, setting. Not that I didn’t with the last book but I set it in a school and told it from the point of a high school boy. It wasn’t much of a stretch. I didn’t really care if it was good until I was done. Words on paper. I shouldn’t have cared if it was good after I was done either, but live and learn.

I am telling this story by following 5 characters. I know how it is going to end for each of the characters. I feel really good about my planned ending and it has helped give me a line to go down. The line is a little crooked in places, but it still leads to the end.

One of the characters has been hard for me to write. I always seem to slow way down writing that section. I have really been thinking about why. Wondering if maybe I should fold that character’s story line into another characters. But the story-line is important to the ending. I can’t abandon it but maybe it just doesn’t have to be this character.

Then I wonder if maybe that character is dragging because it is the only character that I have to make sure I reveal small hints. These hints are a big part of the ending. I don’t want to give away too much but I don’t want readers to get to the end and ask, “Are you kidding me?” I am trying to play fair. I hate it when authors cheat me in books that I read. The other characters have really one goal and they spend all of their time attempting to get that goal. Easier to write.

Which leads me back to my original statement. I will be a better writer when this one is done. It hasn’t been about words on a page. It hasn’t been about getting it done. It has been about crafting a story. It has been a blast!

It has now been 28 days of writing. I have not missed a day. My goal was a thousand words a day and I am ahead of that pace. I still think that the story is going to come in longer than 70,000 words, but not much longer. It’s hard to know, I have never written anything this long before.

This week’s preview from the novel:

“Markus, do you know what an incarnator is?”

Markus ignored the voice. He didn’t have time to be insane right now.

“Incarnators were magic users. In a way we were part of the magic of the land, like the shadow men and all their creatures. The difference is that we all were born with different magic. We weren’t limited to one thing. The shadow men hated us and feared us.”

Markus could hear what sounded like a pack of ravers coming up the stairs he had just left behind. He hoped that Fizzle was right and the door was abandoned. He needed to last as long as he possibly could. It was Tiffany’s only hope.

“There weren’t very many of us. Not like the shadow men. We were separated out all over Rathian, no base of power. The shadow men slaughtered most of us at one time. It was the night of a thousand sorrows. Despite that we fought back and won but then we did something really stupid. We closed off Rathian to magic and we made people forget that it existed.”

Markus entered the last hallway. He smiled when he saw the empty door ahead of him. He ran to it pulling out the card. It was just like the other card they had taken. He took it out and slid it into the slot.

The door opened with a click. Markus stepped inside and shut the door behind him. The room was filled with tables. All of the tables had items on them he had never seen before.

“Markus, you won’t be able to figure out the weapons in time. You need to listen. I can help.”

“Fine, tell me what it is you want to tell me and then leave me alone!”

“Markus, you are an incarnator. You have magic inside you.”

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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