I’m here, at the end of my final week of writing for 2016, and I can’t quite believe it. I began writing Everborne fifteen weeks ago, but it feels like much, much longer. In that time, I’ve written 113,728 words, or 394 pages (double-spaced, point twelve), which tells the first thirteen chapters (and prologue) of my story. I suppose it feels like much, much longer because Everborne started waaaay before that.
Now I’m actually on the path, I’m thrilled to be treading it, even if I don’t quite know how far along I am, or where its headed. It’s part of the fun, I suppose. (No, it’s really not; it’s actually quite terrifying.) Still, I’m committed to continuing on my merry way—excuse the seasonal pun!
Next week I’ll be closing the lid of my Chromebook to work in M&S (this isn’t just any job, it’s an M&S job!), up until Christmas Eve, to help fund this dream of mine. I’ll likely work the odd day post-Christmas through to the New Year, and will resume full-time as of January 9th. When I do, it will be to re-draft everything I have so far written and then print copies for my reading circle (which I’m still forming: if you would like to be a beta reader for Everborne, please get in touch—my only requirement is that you can read!), which I’m hoping to have done by mid February. By that time, I hope to have shaved 20-30,000 words off my total—so around the 80,000 word mark would be good, as I think that is much better suited for 13 chapters plus a prologue.
This shouldn’t be too much of a problem, as I’ve already shaved off 10,500ish words by re-writing the first chapter, which I finished doing on Friday. My prologue is 6,000 words, which is far too long, and I want it to be somewhere between 2-3,000 words. Like Chapter 1, I think it has far too much over-explanation in it. I have a couple of other chapters which I know need thinning (I’m looking at you, Chapter 7, you fat, wordy (22,628, or 76 pages—gee!) thing you!) and possibly deleting entirely (don’t get too comfortable, 5), as well as rearranging the order of a couple, as well. (22,628 words, really? REALLY? Good grief. I had it in my head that it was only 17,000 words, but that’s far too long, even for a 3-in-1 chapter. Oh my!)
I didn’t set myself any word-count target this week, instead I only wanted to finish Chapter 1. It was nice to work at a more leisurely pace, and I hope its slowness was due to the original difficulty Chapter 1 presented when I first wrote it, and that I can actually write at that quality but at a much faster pace. (I’m sure I can, as my more recent chapters felt to be of a similar or equal quality.)
It is satisfying to end the year on a high, as I’m far more pleased with my re-write of Chapter 1. (At the same time, I don’t want to stop the roll I’m on. Alas, M&S awaits.) I even feel as if it’s the best chapter I’ve written, so far. The difference in quality really shows how far I’ve come as a writer in the past three months. Some of what I wrote in the first attempt was laughable, naive and painful on the eyes: chucking away nearly 16,000 words entirely wasn’t a hard decision. Now I’ve done it, I even feel quite relieved. (I referenced the first attempt of Chapter 1 as I re-wrote it, but that was mostly for important details or plot points; other than one or two sentences or phrases, everything else is gone.) I’ve learnt a lot about myself and the process since, and I’ll of course be using that when I come to drafting. I’m hoping it’s only going to help Everborne go from strength to strength.
I will intend to post between now and January 9th (I’m even toying with the idea of releasing an extract), but knowing how busy the Christmas period gets I’m not sure when that will be. Either way, like a Hollywood sequel, I’ll return as quickly as I can! So I would like to now say a BIG thank you for reading my blog, whether it’s been a post or two, or all of them, as it means so, so much to me. I really can’t stress that enough. When I set out to do this, I didn’t think anyone would be particularly interested or even care, so it really warms (and still surprises) me that people do. Whether you celebrate it or not, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas period and wish you all the best for 2017. It can only get better, right?
(This is my awesome—thanks, I’m glad you agree—Guardians of the Galaxy Christmas jumper that I’ve been wearing this week; can you spot the dog hair?)