Tag Archives: first draft

Auran Chronicles #2 First Draft – Done!

Slightly ahead of schedule, and slightly lesser on the word count (85,000 – no doubt rising once I’ve added some meat to the bones!), but I’m pleased to say that the first draft of Auran Chronicles #2, provisionally titled “Consensus Breaking”,¬†is now complete. This definitely calls for several of these:

beer-cocktails

I’m going to take a few days off to begin plotting #3 before finally reopening the drawer and editing this thing into something fit to share. There’s a lot to do, and a lot of referencing book 1 to ensure all the relevant plot lines sync up nicely and other related dependencies, but the core story is there with all the key scenes I’d planned in advance, so it’s in a lot better shape than Message Bearer’s first draft was!

Have a good weekend! ūüôā

AuranChronicles_CVR_MED

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Halfway there…

So I’ve passed the 50,000 word mark now, and am approaching 60,000 at a good pace. With a target of 100,000 words (Message Bearer was 101,000), it’s looking good.

I’m coming into the back end of the middle section now too, which is a great relief. It’s this area that always sags and where the story seems to meander all over the place as it strives towards that end goal. True, I have my “must have” scenes that link the story together, but the path getting there can be a confusing spaghetti-like mess of random scenes, conversations and characters that appear in one chapter only to never be seen again.

Thankfully, the beginning of the end is in sight. I’ve just written a pivotal sequence of scenes that not only ramp up the tension significantly but also explore in much greater detail the mythology of the Auran Chronicles. ¬†There’s a lot of history behind the magi and the Weave, and it’s nice to delve even more into that, especially when it relates directly to our protagonists. Obviously there’s going to be a heavy amount¬†of chopping, changing and re-aligning for the second draft, but I’m happy the end of the story as envisaged in my synopsis is on track, even if all the stuff in between hasn’t quite so stuck to plan ūüôā

The problem now, if indeed, it is a problem, is that not only am I almost certain that the story requires four books not three (although I¬†really want to get in done in three) , but in expanding the world significantly in book 2 I’ve also introduced a new bunch of characters, of which at least two I’d love to spin off into their own series, or at least, to steal¬†a Disney term, an Auran Chronicles “anthology” story or two. Aside from Cade, the half-daemon Brotherhood warrior who¬†so¬†deserves his own story (mental note – Auran Chronicles: Born of Blood), we also meet Shimmer, a Borderguard from the barren lands that exists between shards (the shattered worlds of the Auran Chronicles), who has a fascinating back story of his own that I can’t wait to explore.

So all in all, definitely a good problem, the challenge is, which one to write first?

Anyway, must dash, last night I left Seb several hundred feet up in the air with the ground rushing to meet him. I didn’t know how he was going to get out of this one, so just left it like that. It seemed a good idea at the time, but as I stare at the flashing cursor I’m not so sure. The joys of writing I guess!

 

40,000+ words reached. Bring out the plot-doubt monkeys

So, progress on book 2 has been slightly slower than I would’ve liked, but hey, that’s the Christmas holidays for you. I did try and get some writing done but in the end family and good times won out, and¬†rightly so, too.

Anyway, I’m back in the saddle now. I’ve been churning about 1000-1200 words a day out for 5 days a week since Christmas so that Scrivener bar is growing nicely.

Unfortunately though, my evil nemesis the plot-doubt monkeys have made their first appearance. These evil creatures tormented me throughout book 1, challenging the logic of the plot, making me think that the story I was trying to tell was too tricky to pull off at my level of ability. I ploughed on of course, but only managed to finish the book after a good few months off inbetween drafts.

It’s different this time I think. I don’t have the same fears I had before. I know once I get to the end of this draft that I can fix whatever issues I’ve created getting there. That’s the joy of editing after all and to be honest I’m quite looking forward to it.

Instead, I’ve made the mistake of doing too much alternative reading whilst I’ve been ploughing ahead with this draft. Normally this isn’t a problem, but I’ve also been reading books in genres similar to mine.

Big mistake. Big. Huge. (To coin a line from Pretty Woman)

The doubts that come from this are such questions as – “Is my world rich enough compared to X”, or “has this concept been done before?”.

I’ve found myself second guessing more than I would normally do. Previously I didn’t really consider other books like mine, or fear that my story wouldn’t match up to those. But reading a couple now as made me rethink certain story elements that I perhaps wouldn’t have before.

There’s no real way to unthink (that should really be a word) what I’ve pondered reading these books, but going forwards I’ve made a decision not to read in my genre whilst head down in a WIP. It intrudes too much on my own world and makes me actively tweak the story to avoid potential similarities to others. Stupid I know, but there you are.

On the flip side I’m generally happy with where I’m at with book 2. The story is coming along well, and Seb and co have just had a massive WTF moment that I really enjoyed writing. This sets the scene for the second half of the book now that hopefully leads into the gripping conclusion (well, it looks gripping in the outline) I’ve planned.

So…*opens a window*…Away with you, plot-doubt monkeys. Fly, fly away!

monkeys

25,000 words…

Another milestone reached as Auran Chronicles #2 ploughs on with merrily abandon.

I’ve hit one of those critical “what if” ¬†moments now that always happens and threatens to blow my carefully planned outline to smithereens! ¬†It’s such a clich√© but when those characters get formed on your head they really do things that you didn’t plan for!

Annoyance.

So, ¬†on this occasion I’ve decided to follow Cade to see where his way of working takes the story. ¬†So if the novel goes crazy from this point on it’s not me you blame.

It’s the characters… ¬†‚ėļ