Thaoryn: writing update

4-8-2016 15:12

Thaoryn is a fixed presence on the front page of my website. Projects come and go, but she stubbornly holds on to her place. There are no spectacular milestones to report for the time being, but I still thought it was time for a small update: how exactly is my book coming along?

Purely in numbers: the Word document now contains 83.769 words spread over 152 pages. I’ve heard that about 260 words go on a page in a printed book, which in this case would mean that I’m at page 323. It will probably depend on the format, but supposing this works as a rule of thumb, I’d estimate the whole story to be good for two books of close to 500 pages each… a figure that I haven’t quite gotten used to yet.

I never planned to write two thick books. The original plan was one average book of 300 pages or so—it’s a strange thought that I’d be finished already if that estimate had been correct. However, when I started filling in the blanks, there turned out to be much more to the story. The best way from start to end turned out to be a winding one, and many characters, who already had their role in the big picture, turned out to have some personal development to go through as well. My goal is still not to write two thick books, but it is to tell the story that’s in my head in the best way possible, however many pages I will need to do it. The amount of work still in front of me can be intimidating, but I never considered giving up. I just can’t abandon my characters and myself.

As for the story itself, I can’t say much without giving spoilers, so I will have to stick to general terms. The first half of the book was in a way about introducing the characters, world, and problems, and getting the main character properly off balance. Now that has been done, the most important event in the book starts appearing on the horizon. The coming chapters will directly work towards that event and everything that follows, including the grand finale, will deal with the consequences. In the meantime, the main character finds herself torn between ever more conflicting interests, and yet going on seems the only way to get out of the mess she’s gotten entangled in…

Fun to write, but not easy. I’m slowly beginning to realise just how many balls I’m trying to juggle at the same time. There are multiple mysteries building up to reveals step by step. Some will be solved in this book, others won’t play an important role until book two, but I still want to introduce those as well. Characters and their mutual relationships are developing, and the main character gets to know her friends and enemies—all caused by and in aid of the main plot, which I may have figured out from beginning to end, but which still frequently presents me with surprises and pitfalls. And don’t get me started about filling in the setting piece by piece.

I’m always tempted to make predictions about when the first draft of book one will be finished—the current one is ‘some time in autumn’. The truth is that I will simply keep writing and trying to improve my writing routine, until one day I type the last sentence. And then? The Great Editing…

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