Friday, March 22, 2013

A Writer's Week #63: Taking Stock

For about a month now I've been bumping along writing about 2,000 words a week. It's the weekly goal I've set myself. While it's not very challenging in and of itself, it is tremendously so when you add in everything else that I've got going on in my life. I've been hitting my goal pretty consistently, but I've felt that I've been in a rut. The thing was, I could not for the life of me figure out why.

Then on Monday as I was writing my latest Inklings post it hit me. The post was all about writing the middle of the story. I listed three things that you need from the middle of a story to keep it from getting bogged down--challenge your characters, pick up the pace and throw in some details and history. As I was writing the post, I suddenly had an uneasy feeling. Was I ignoring my own advice? I was worried that maybe I might be going a little bit astray in the middle of The Deliverers 3. After all, while I thought there was some good tension and suspense and also a little bit of a mystery going on, it did not seem to me that there was a whole lot of action.

Now, my wife had read it through and said that she thought the pace was good and that it was not boring. Okay, that's nice. I respect her opinion and she has never been wrong in the past, but I still had this uneasy feeling. The second book in the series, Order of the Crystal Lion has, I think, a lot of action in it. There's a lot of fighting, people getting captured, two storylines, etc. On the other hand, The Golden Dragon of Ang has had one abduction, no fights, and only one real storyline (although the groundwork has been laid for a second one). Uh oh, I thought, I may be in trouble.

So, I decided to take some time and read the story all the way through. I'm happy to say that I think things are pretty good. The pace is fine, there's tension and I really like what the new characters populating this latest world bring to the table. It made me feel a whole lot better and loosened me up. In fact, the day after I read it I wrote 1,400 words including the first battle of the book. There is also a chase that will take place in the next chapter. I don't know if this was an unconscious thing on my part, but as I was writing all the ideas kind of clicked. I think it was just the right part of the story for some action. Things had been leading up to it.

This week I wrote 2,200 words which puts me at 30,100, 27 chapters and 130 pages. Getting to 30,000 words feels good. I love those little milestones. I had been thinking the book would be about as long as the second which would put it at 61,000 words or so, but right now I'm not sure. The Deliverers still have a long way to go on this journey. Will I break 300 pages? Part of me thinks it would be neat, but the other part thinks that may be a bit too long for a middle grade novel--I'm not J.K. Rowling after all. Anyway, we'll see. Now that I'm sure of my direction again I'm hoping to get back to weeks of 2,500 words or more like I was doing at the beginning of the year. I'll let you know if that's the case next week.


  1. It sounds like you are getting a lot of writing in! Yeah! I think it is awesome that you went through and reread to make sure that you are taking your own advice. Nice! :)

    1. Yes, the writing is going well. It's good to know I'm back on track. Thanks for reading!