“Wyrd” Progress Report XX



REASON FOR STOPPING: Finished part three of the book!

It seems fitting to hit a big progress report of number twenty for completing Part Three of the book.  I knew this part was going to take a long time and be a big and focal part of the book, but little did I know it would take over two hundred and fifty pages.  Guess my characters had a lot to say and do that I wasn’t fully aware of when I began that part.  And I’ve now hit page 455 with the start of Part Four of the book.  I know this book is easily going to be the longest project I’ve ever worked on and the end is nowhere near in sight, with I’d say at least a couple years left to go.  And you may ask: Do I feel like I’m halfway through the book with the end of this part, and my answer would be: no.

My goal for the year with Wyrd was to hit page 500, but sometimes goals don’t always get reached like you want them to, at least at this point at the end of July.  I feel I have satisfied what I set out to do with this book at the beginning of the year, and while I may not have hit that specific page number, I’ve reached my goal with the manuscript and am happy with that.  I may not return to this project for the rest of the year, so starting the new part just to hit that page number and then abandon it doesn’t feel right.  Of course, there’s still a lot of the year left to go and I may hit my other goals and still have time left over to come back to this one.  The future isn’t written in stone, which is certainly one of the themes of Wyrd.

“Wyrd” Progress Report XIX



REASON FOR STOPPING: Finished a big scene and did some setup for the next; also hit 90,000 words!

It’s been a while since I did a Wyrd progress report.  The novel is going along great, and I can feel myself closing in on the end of this massive “book” within the manuscript I’ve been writing, called “Pictland.”  I’m on target to hit my annual goal of page 500, as I’m now on page 422.  One thing I do continue to realize as more scenes get written, and characters think of more things to say and talk about, is that this is going to be one bastard of a book.  I expect to hit page 500 some time before the fall, and I have this strong feeling that it might just be at or close to half of the book.  We shall just have to see.  I find it very exciting though, as I’ve never written anything quite this long.  But I have a lot of story to tell, and my characters have a lot of say, whether to the reader or to each other.  Also hit the 90,000 word mark today, which felt great.  It’s going to be interesting once I crack 100,000 words for the first time, since my longest manuscript has been 97,000.  It’s going to feel like walking on the moon . . . traversing across a whole new world that I’ve never been before.

Going to take a brief break through the month of June to work on editing and putting finishing touches on Kyra: The First Book of Enchantus, to get it ready for release hopefully in July or August.  But as soon as I’m done with that last “checkup,” I’m coming right back to Wyrd.  Can’t wait!


Also once I hit that 500 page mark I will reassess the word counter and likely update it to the 200,000 mark. 

Foods on the Writing Plate

It’s interesting what the change from one month to the next can bring.  Up until the end of March, my writing for 2012 consisted mainly of one particular project, but now with the onset of April and some preset deadlines for other projects, I find myself with three different projects going at once, which in my opinion is great, because while working on one book can certainly be enough to drive the writer each and every day, sometimes he or she isn’t feeling it and needs to work on something else, which is why it’s good to have — to use a cliche — a number of irons in the fire.  Here are my three irons going right now . . . all heating at various temperatures, some glowing with great heat, others just beginning to warm up; in the burning fires of my imagination . . . sorry, had to do that.

Iron #1: Wyrd:  This is the historical fiction manuscript that I’ve been playing around with for a long time now . . . by next year it will have been ten years since I started thinking about it and do some initial writings.  I’ve been seriously working on it, writing it, for the last two years and it’s currently over 83,000 words, and while on my word count meter this shows as over halfway, I honestly don’t actually think I’ve reached that point yet.  This is the book that’s been my sole project so far this year, and my goal is at least to make it to page 500, and I’m currently a handful of pages away from 400, so on target there.

Iron #2: In That Quiet Earth: Some time in April — right now I’m tentatively saying April 17th — I will release my second collection of short stories, called In That Quiet Earth.  Like Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers, it will also be ten stories and feature the first two sample chapters to two of my novels.  I do have the cover now which my wife it working on titling and once that’s all set I’ll be releasing that for people to see.  And hopefully the ebook will be available April 17th, but we shall see.  Also, like Unquiet Slumbers for the Sleepers is now, In That Quiet Earth will also be offered as a free ebook to entice readers to check out some of my work.

Iron #3: White Horse (or Sunil’s Bane): In November of last year I finished up my manuscript that I was calling White Horse, though it will eventually get a new title, once I find the right one.  With each novel that I finish I like to give it at least 3-4 months to stew so that I can firstly start working on something else, secondly allow myself to forget about it, and thirdly start my brain thinking about how I’m going to make it better when I start revising it.  It’s now been over five months and all these things have happened and I’m looking forward to beginning the revision process.  I’m going to be writing and documenting my process as I do this, updates of which can be found here, to kind of show my method, but also to lay it out in detail for me as this will be one of the biggest and most through rewrites I’ve attempted on a novel.  Up until now I’d really just been reading through and rewriting a number of times until I felt it was right; now I’m employing a more methodical process to make it the best story it can possibly be.

And that’s what I’ve got going on right now.  Plus a couple of short story ideas floating around in my mind that I’m going to start soon, and weekly writing exercises to keep me in shape!  I’ve also come up with the book I’m going to write if I do Nanowrimo this year.  I’m planning to and last night worked out what I was going to write, but that will be for another post.

“Wyrd” Progress Report XVIII



REASON FOR STOPPING: Hit page 200 and cracked 40,00 words; that was my goal for the day.

It’s been quite a while since my last update, last March in fact, but that’s because I had that whole other book I was writing in that other tense.  So I’ve started working on this manuscript again, and very happy to be back on it again, after refreshing myself on the research and doing a little more to make sure I had it as right as I wanted it, and now the words are hitting the page and I’m having a lot of fun.  My goal for this manuscript for 2011 is to reach page 250, and I know there’s only a couple weeks of the year left, but with how it got going today — and with me hitting my Page 200 goal and doing about ten pages — I’m pretty confident I can hit Page 250 before January 1st.


“Wyrd” Progress Report XVII



REASON FOR STOPPING: End of Part III of the book, and finished off Third Interlude.

Wow, what a productive writing session I had yesterday, and most of the words written before noon!  Ended up doing about 2700 words and today did an additional 800 to hit 3571 words so far for the week.  Since my weekly goal of writing is a modest 2500 words, not too bad at all.

The Wyrd manuscript is going to be put on hold for a little.  I was having an issue with working on two books at the same time, where I would switch between each one from week to week, and because one is done in third person and the other is done in first person, I was getting my tenses confused.  I therefore focused on getting to a good stopping point in Wyrd this week, so I would be able to dedicate all my time to White Horse, and get that finished before I would return to Wyrd once more.  I know I’d set my personal goal of hitting the 250-page mark for Wyrd by the end of this year, and even with this delay, I’m still confident that it will happen.

For now, Artorus and his friends, along with some Saxons, are on their way north in longships to face some Picts.  It’s going to be a little while before they get there, but arrive at their destination they will.


“Wyrd” Progress Report XVI



REASON FOR STOPPING: The week has ended and time to continue work on the other project


Hit some neat milestones in the Wyrd manuscript this week: the thirty-thousand work mark, and the 150-page mark.  The other impressive milestone this week was just passing the four-thousand work mark for writing for the week when the average and minimum is 2500.  Something new I started doing this week was bringing my laptop to work and writing for half an hour during my lunch break and hitting the 500-word mark then as well as other writing during the day.  I was partly encouraged and inspired by Jim C. Hines’ recent post on choosing his job ten years ago and writing during his lunch breaks, resulting in six books and over 40 short stories published.

Another successful week of smashing that writing goal, and here’s to the next one with White Horse.


“Wyrd” Progress Report XV





Another chunk of words done tonight in a relatively short time, and another week of hitting and beating the word count goal, with a full day ahead of schedule.  And that’ll be it for the writing for this week with regard to the Wyrd project so I can put some time in for editing Nothing is an Accident, but feeling good I hit the goal.  Also finished a good scene and looking forward to writing the next big one in a week or so when I return to Wyrd.

For now, this scene with everyone pretty much getting some, even the main character who took me a little while to realize is gay.  Yes, they were a dark haired, blue-eyed handsome Briton who found him in the early hours and took him back to his tent.  A nice change on the classic warrior character who isn’t just looking to get the girl.

And now for some words in progress . . .

“You look like you might be in need of some aid in getting to your tent?” the man asked.

Artorus couldn’t help smiling, then laughed.

“Normally I would demand you take you hands off me and let me stand on my own two legs,” he said, trying his best not to slur and failing miserably.  “But it seems that on this night I have become somewhat reckless in the consumption of mead.”

“Indeed, dear Artorus,” the man said.


“Wyrd” Progress Report XIV


Wyrd is alive and back on track.  Got over a thousand words done today and I’m real happy with the direction and where it’s going.  It’s funny: in an earlier draft of this manuscript from years ago I had the chapter coming to an end where the Saxons up and left after Vortigern kidnapped Hengest’s daughter, Rowena.  But now, with the more fully-developed and interesting character that Vortigern has become, he would never do this.  I can feel the story turning away from this earlier draft, and going in a much more precise and right direction of where I want it to go.  Coupled with the eleven-page chapter outline that took me hours to complete yesterday, Wyrd is looking to be a pretty fascinating novel and I’m excited to see where it goes.  Also, with the outline complete, I’m bumping the word count to an estimated 150, 000 words; yes, I feel this manuscript might just end up being that long, at least with the full story I plan to tell.  We’ll just have to see how it goes.


TOTAL WORDS : 21,376

REASON FOR STOPPING: End of poignant scene, but still lots more to write in this chapter!

And now for some words in progress:

One was a giant of a man, tall as well as wide; the likeness was unmistakable.  When the Saxon looked up at them, Artorus saw in the face the sibling features, and knew this man must be the other of the Saxon horselords, Horsa.  The man’s stare was both indignantly questioning and accusatory; definitely Hengest’s brother.


“Wyrd” Progress Update XIII

Went through a full read-through of the 90 odd pages written today, which was good as the story is now fresh in my mind and I made some detailed notes in the from of a chapter beat sheet along the way, so that I will now be able to reference those annoying details that I’m not sure I’ve already mentioned, such as a character’s age, or whether they already said that; and hopefully prevent writing something that totally contradicts what I’ve written earlier.  Also got Chapter IV a little further along.

Vortigern’s eyes widened at this, finally wiping the look of suspicion off his face.  Meanwhile the interpreter continued to relay every word that’d been spoken to Hengist in his language.  Vortigern seemed to realize this just now and stopped Artorus from saying anything further.

“And you are here to help us, along with our Saxon friends,” – he held out an arm to Hengist, turning and smiling at him and the interpreter and then turning back to them – “against those invading scum from the north and against our shores.”

WORDS: 687

PAGES: 3 1/2

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“Wyrd” Progress Update XII

Got a little bit further along in my novel, Wyrd, today, though not as much as I’d wanted, but that’s because it’s requiring me to plan out the chapter more, to refer to an earlier draft, just to know the history and what’s going on.  I can already tell three things about this novel:

  1. It’s going to be longer than anything I’ve done before, I expect 400 pages, if not longer.
  2. It’s going to be a lot of work.  Being a work of historical fiction, the writing is different from other novels that I’ve written where I was able to have a loose idea of the story in my head and know the characters and just do the writing and let the story unfold.  In Wyrd there is the story to tell, but there is the historical context to get right, as well as certain historical events that I either want to directly reference or allude to.  This is why the writing is feeling somewhat disjointed with stops and starts and reference checking and fact checking.  I expect to attain a rhythm at some point where the writing will come easier, but at the moment it’s hard going.  I also have a lot more going on with plots and subplots and various emotional resonances that present a very complex novel, which is a new endeavor for me.  So while part of me is finding it hard going and tough, another part is thrilled by it and I’m very excited to see what’s coming next and where it’s all going.
  3. Once the first draft or two is complete, I know it’s going to require a lot of work to get everything just right with respect to context, setting, time line, continuity, and things like that.

And that’s enough talk, here’s some writing in progress:

“Lord Hengist wants to know why he should sacrifice his men to receive so little in return.  Why should the blood of his people be spilled, their lives taken for some gold and food in return.  It is land that he requires.”

WORDS: 857


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