It's never really done, is it? I mean, I've read and re-read and re-re-read this a lot of times. I've gotten rid of the ambiguities, made sure everything has a name that needs to. I've got the first of several maps made and made sure things happen in the right directions and distances, now that I have a map. I've set a number of Chechov Brand Traps™ which are designed to go off in Books 2-9.
And by Grabthar's Hammer I have a story.
Is it perfect? Pfft! What a stupid question. Of course not. But it's good enough to read, I think. Oh, there's a chapter which might be a little hinky. I thought about pulling it, but then did some counting and realized that it filled a category under the Rule Of Threes. Not only that, but a couple of things I thought I had flogged too much -- some of that shows up in later books. And so it turns out those things also fall under the Rule of Threes for Book 1.
Oh, and while editing Version 1.15, I made the decision to ditch my odd numbering schema. A Princess of a Lost Kingdom is now Book 1. Not Book 1 Part I. Not Book 1 Part A. Just Book 1. The next volume is Book 2. The next is Book 3. I still have the first trilogy, Books 1-3, all in one file. For now it makes continuity sense, I think. But I'm sure when I am deep in the edits for Book 2, that I'll rethink and revisit this, but there you go.
I haven't decided if I feel like digging through the calendars for 2016-17 and establishing all the dates in this version. I feel it's okay. I have to stop somewhere and package this up ready to ship to Beta readers.
I also realized that I had some conflicts in the titles. So I rethought that and now 8 of the 9 books have titles which end in "of a Lost Kingdom" -- and the series goes "Book N Of The Lost Kingdom Chronicles". Lame, I'm sure. But consistency now and consistency later when someone buys the series and gets to change the titles. (optimistic-grin)
The first mention of this project was here on 15 October 2014 (DW), when I had 32,527 words written on what would become the first triology:
So back on 9 September, just over a month ago, I started in on a novel. It's a story I've worked on before, including the last year, but I changed things.That 'A Novel', "A Princess of Light and Letters", was started on 9 September 2014 -- 331 days ago.
But after I'd written some 6000 words, I realized that this was the "nice" version of the story. I needed to be meaner to my characters if this was going to work. Because otherwise, it was just... schlock.
So I set the A novel aside and started the B novel on the 12th. After about 15,000 words, I decided that I was putting back in too many "nice" features. That things weren't hard enough. Also the characters needed to be edgier.
So I set the B novel aside and started the C novel on the 24th. After about... oh yeah, you can see this coming... after about 3000 words, I felt that while the characters were edgier -- and to some extent fun -- they were TOO cocky. These people needed to have suffered. And still living with it. No fairy tale endings. No Prince in shining armor or worsted wool.
So... since I hadn't gotten too far, I set the C novel aside and started the D novel on 27 September 2014. I think maybe I've got the mix right. Still haven't decided if this is YA or not. Technically it is neither SF or Fantasy -- call it alternative history -- and quite unlike anything I've ever written before, yet parallel to some of the stuff in my 29th century SF. Go figure.
I'm just about one-third of the way to my initial target length, so I might as well pull out the word meters and officially put this super-secret novel project on notice to the world.
The 'D Novel', "A Princess of a Lost Kingdom", was started on 27 September 2014 -- 313 days ago. It now stands at 96,821 words.
I have written, so far, 437,749 words in the current nine-book series -- mostly in the first two trilogies. The A-B-C Novels totaled some 24,000 words, but they are not all unique across versions including the current one. Still, I am comfortable in saying I have written over 440,000 words in 331 days. It sounds like a tremendous amount -- and it is -- but divide raw numbers by raw days, and it is only 1329 words a day. At an average 250 words/page in Standard Manuscript Format, that works out to about 5 pages a day.
I mention this not to brag, but to shout out encouragement to young writers who figure they can't write a novel or work on anything "that long". Remember, much of the work was written before Christmas, when I was still commuting 3 hours a day and teaching two classes.
The shiny counters stand at:
The First Trilogy Page Edits (Pass 4)
A Princess Of A Lost Kingdom Page Edits (Pass 4)
The Lost Kingdom YA Project Version 1.15 (08-06-15 Th, 1601 pages)
Book 1 Part I (96,821 words)
Yes, I am over even the super-stretch goal of 95,000 words, rather than the usual YA range of 60,000-80,000 words -- but amazingly I am only 1821 words over and did not break the 100,000 word sonic barrier.
PS--Twice I offered the great opportunity for someone to read the almost-ready version. Got no takers. So I __STILL__ don't know if what works in my mind works for ANYONE ELSE IN THE WORLD. Writer's insecurities and panic -- we all do it. Thanks for helping me. (/sarcasm) (evil-grin)
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