Progress: 86,481 words, Nine Chapters (All first draft)
My last official update was over a month ago. Don’t panic. I have been working on the novel. You can see the word count above and completed chapters count both going up. A move interrupted my flow a bit, but I’m back on board and feel good as I’m into late Act II and finally have an isolated writing space.
Amity is out looking for her mother as her father searches for her. Both are grasping at very small threads to find who they’re looking for, but there is forward momentum as well as dangers ahead. I haven’t shared an excerpt in awhile, so here’s something I like from Chapter 9. Nathaniel and Holland have just crossed into New York state on their way to find the villain, Alden Cabot. They stop in a tavern for a drink and rest.
“The Dutch were beacons of civilization two centuries ago. A blink of God’s eye really. Military, art, and science, revered by world powers, but not anymore. The English have taken over. Can you recall the last time you even met a Dutchman?”
Holland shrugged again. The white haired man used the pause to drink from his ale.
“Or a native man from here?” he asked after a swallow. “The Dutch pushed them out. The English pushed the Dutch out. We name places Cairo and Athens, like some promise of greatness, but no one looks to the end. The Egyptians, the Greeks. All these superiorities, now fallen, and here we are at war with the English. Drink up boys, for the next men in these chairs may be telling tales of a long ago land called America.”
I’m not quite in editing mode just yet, but my brain is shifting there as I reach the end of the first draft. I already know I want to move things around, and I’ve started working on a new opening scene. This is creating a conflict when I’m trying to write, mentally fighting the urge to slash and burn before I’ve got the raw materials finalized.
Good or bad, it’s made me aware of pacing and some of these latter scenes feel rushed, so I’ve added four more scenes than I had planned. Perhaps I’m wrong, and they’re just more to cut when I reach the true editing phase, but the additional scenes feel right so far.
I still think I’ll be done with the first draft before my November deadline, and I’m very happy about that. Speaking with a friend just yesterday we talked about next steps and publishing, etc. He reminded me that, not only are there many steps to getting a novel into the world, but each step taken is an accomplishment. I have to remember to celebrate all of them.
Best of luck to all of you in your creations. Stop and celebrate what you’ve done so far.
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