Drew’s State of Writing – April 2015

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It’s that time again. Six months ago, I posted about Drew’s State of Writing, and talked a lot about the new things with Dcaf Copy, All Flames Cast, and updated writing schedules. Of course, for those who have been following along, you know that that schedule ended up being wildly optimistic.

As things stand right now, I’m closing in on the end of All Flames Cast. Harael’s chapters were finished in January; Eritan’s are nearly done right now, though I may need to add in another one, depending on how the timeline ends up working out with Tymun’s chapters. I’m still working on reconciling events across character arcs. Tymun has a start already, but will be getting the majority of work during the last half of April. It’s my goal to finish the first draft of this book by the end of April/early May, and get it through alpha reads by this summer so I can start revising. Continue reading

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Cup of Dcaf: Juggling Viewpoint Characters

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As I undertake my Wheel of Time Reread, the topic of viewpoint characters has been on my mind. In The Eye of the World, there are only a few POV characters: Rand has by far most of the book, with a few chapters from Perrin and a few from Nynaeve. It’s a rather startling contrast to…well, to the whole rest of the series, which sees an astounding 2700+ named characters, with hundreds of them getting viewpoints at one place or another.

And that brings me to my own experiences with the phenomenon. Continue reading

All Flames Cast – Harael VIII

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As a little bonus celebration for finally polishing off the last of the Harael chapters in All Flames Cast, I give you Harael’s eighth chapter…where things really start going crazy.

It was hard to concentrate with terror pulsing through him. It was one thing to pray on top of a wall, protected from harm by dozens of feet of stone and metal. It was quite another to be only a few dozen yards from nightmares come to life, rending the flesh of comrades with teeth like razors and claws like thorns. Hisses intermingled with screams. The disturbing thud of dead flesh hitting the ground permeated the square. Continue reading

The End of NaNo – AFC Update

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Well, November has come and gone. Unfortunately, I didn’t reach my goal of finishing the first draft of All Flames Cast this month; I wrote a touch over 50,000 words out of a projected 90k. It was an eye-opening month, however, and I learned a few important things about both the writing process and the story itself.

The main thing I discovered is that I can’t let myself sacrifice narrative pacing for the sake of word count. NaNoWriMo is a great idea, and works very well for a lot of people; I’m certain it could work for me if I kept to the spirit of the month and didn’t dedicate it to a preexisting project of mine. However, with a book like All Flames Cast, which is the product of years’ worth of worldbuilding, notes, and outlining, using a word count as a goal became a bit of a distraction. I had to constantly stop myself from letting my characters ramble, despite the padded word count it would give me. The pacing of All Flames Cast has been enough of a struggle as it is; slowing it down and letting it wander in order to fill out a word count isn’t the way to go.

However, the end result of all this is that I now have a much better idea of how I want the story to flow, and I overcame a major obstacle in keeping my writing on track. On top of that, of course, I am 50,000 words closer to finishing the first draft. Even though I didn’t hit my goal, I did finish Harael’s chapters, so another chapter will be popping up this week in celebration of that.

All Flames Cast NaNo Update – Weeks 2 and 3

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Well, last week didn’t really go as planned. I hit a major wall with All Flames Cast, and the result is that I am now way off my mark for getting to 90,000 words this month. I had a pretty big day on Saturday, trying to get back on track, but I still have a lot of ground to make up.

A big reason for this is where in the book I am. The parts I’m writing right now are smack dab in the middle: mostly exposition and character-building and setting up for the fun stuff at the end. The problem is, it’s easy to find myself rambling during stretches like these. I have had to consciously prevent myself from letting my characters go down tangents, even when it provides worldbuilding, because I need that page space to be spent moving the plot forward and helping the characters grow. I don’t want this to turn into a 250,000 word monstrosity. If I can keep the word total around 150,000 words, which was my goal from the beginning, I will be very happy.

So, as this third week of NaNo gets going, I find myself with a lot of work to do. All Flames Cast goes on, but we will see if I can really get to 90,000 words now. It was always a daunting goal.