The Dark Lands Week 9

The end is nigh. I reached my goal of 70,000 words on Friday. I hit 71,500 today and the book is not done but it will be soon. My best guess is that I will be done with the first draft by next Saturday and maybe sooner.

The next chapter will wrap up at least two of the story lines for this book. Then I will have a very small chapter at the end that ties two story lines together and sets up the next book. I am thinking about 6,000 to 8,000 words to wrap it up.

At that point I will do my first read through to clean up any nasty mistakes and to take notes on my own story. I worked outline free on this story. I am pretty sure that I kept the story continuity pretty tight but I know some adjustments will need to be made. Plus, I will need the notes for book two. I don’t want to have to go back into book one and find something. As I read through if I know I need it for book 2 it will go into my notes folder.

Speaking on notes folder. I wrote this whole novel using Scrivener for the mac. It is a word processing program designed specifically for writers. I really liked it. It allowed me to easily break the chapters up into separate sections. It also has a research folder right on the left task bar. I didn’t have to do any research but it was a handy place to write myself notes. It is also where I will keep all my book 2 notes. I can then import it into the book 2 folder when I am ready to start.

I have learned a lot about myself over this project. I think the thing I am happiest about is my total and complete uncaring if the story ever gets published. I set out to prove I could write a novel and I did it. I enjoyed the experience and I am better for having made the journey.

Ultimately, I don’t ever want to have a point in my life wondering did I give it everything I had. The call to write has beat inside me for so long, it was nice to unleash the beast.

One of the goals I set for myself with this book was length. I wanted to pound out a real novel. Not a short imitation version. I set my word goal based on other young adult books I really liked. I had to revise it several times.

The first goal I set was 50,000 words but then after some research I decided that to be an actual publishable YA novel I needed to shoot for 65,000. After about a week I decided that I would change the goal to 70,000. It seemed like that was about where I was going to come in at. I didn’t miss the mark by much and I am glad that I missed it by going over. The final count looks like it will be just under 80,000.

I have had a few people ask me how I picked a number so close to what I ended up with, considering I had never written anything this long before. I think I was able to come close because of how much I read. I knew what the shell of my story was. My experience as a reader helped me to get in the ballpark.

My book is now longer than these favorites of mine (not better just longer). Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix. Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams. The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett. I will pass Wee Free Men by Pratchett & Mister Monday by Garth Nix later this week.

This week’s preview from the novel:

Moroth slammed him into the ground and dropped his knee into his chest. Moroth lowered a knife down towards Josh’s neck and grinned wickedly at him.

“Why were you walking back towards the wall boy?” asked Moroth.

“I was trying to figure out if you were still chasing me.”

“Who else is out here?”

“No one, just me.”

Moroth lowered the knife and nicked Josh’s throat. A small stream of blood dripped down the side of his neck.

“Don’t lie to me. This smells like a trap. Where are your partners.”

“I’m right behind you,” said Bolo.

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.

One Response to “The Dark Lands Week 9”

  1. >I hope ur just joking i just may die excitment if i wait much longer. sorry if you feel i’m rushing you i’m just really really really excited to hear that ur almost real close to being done :)p.s it’s Hannah

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