I’m in the middle of writing a novel about two young people who are trying to survive the intrigues of the realm in which they live while the planet itself is experiencing disturbances unseen for hundreds of years. Here’s my working description.
Orphans Sid and Lingli leave their childhoods behind when Sid is recruited by the queen of one of the most powerful realms in Ascarya Erde and Lingli undertakes a dangerous journey to join him. Caught in a world of competing noble houses, clashing cultures, earthquakes and magic, the teenagers learn the steep cost of their loyalty to each other as they discover their true identities.
The Seven’s children, the Wanderers and the farmers lit no fire nor lanterns that night. They spoke little and no one had a thought for dinner. Tornak had kept his tent and the envoy’s on the edge of their hasty camp but because the commander spent his time checking his men, the envoy grew anxious and found reason to join the commoners and horses inside the circle where he paced the circumference as though he had designated himself chief worrier.
While Rahman and Sameer organized an impromptu armory to sharpen blades and share what they had with those who had nothing, Lingli helped Sachin and Rekha feed the horses. The colt swung about on his tether and let no one near him. For a second, Lingli considered untying him and letting him run free through the fields but Rekha hurried her back to her aunt’s wagon.
Handing each girl an armful of arrows, Tiadona bid them sit with her and dip the arrowheads in a jug of pine resin that had been thinned with lantern oil. “Keep your hands out of it and don’t touch your eyes,” she told them.
“Who is it?” Rekha asked. “Who is out there?”
Tiadona answered sharply, “Ask yourself what we call the ones who have broken with their ancestors? The ones who kill like that because they live hollow, without their spirits?”
“Rakshasas?” Rekha whispered.
Tiadona nodded. “We will not say that word again.”
April 1, 2015: First draft is 5/6s done. Some scenes are in their second or third revision. I’d be farther along if I hadn’t lost some notebooks and had a computer meltdown during the move back from India. Minor characters are showing unseemly amounts of initiative and must be curbed.
May 10, 2015: Only two chapters stand between me and the first draft of the novel!!!!!
May 19, 2015: First draft is done! (Slides out of desk chair and collapses in heap.)
July 21, 2015: Struggling with the second draft of Chapter 5. Reimagining and rewriting almost everything.
October 20, 2015: Making good progress with Chapter 9. Hoping to pick up the pace significantly during NaNoWriMo.
November 12, 2015: Hit 20,000 words so far this month. Thank you, NaNoWriMo! And now Sid’s gone to the mines in Chapter 14.
November 30, 2015: Added 51,000 words this month, and some revelations in chapters 11-19, but much editing on this early part remains.
December 29, 2015: Untangled some of the chapters that I snarled up while writing as fast as I could for NaNoWriMo.
May 5, 2016: Finished second draft up to chapter 34. The next chapter’s the big one. Cannot believe it’s been a year since the first draft. Man, I’m a slow writer!
August 5, 2016: One more chapter and I will finish the second draft. Feeling good about that, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
August 15, 2016: Second draft done!!!
January 7, 2017: The third draft is killing me.
February 20, 2017: Finished the third draft of chapters 1-8. Good grief. I’ve got 116 single-spaced pages!
May 15, 2017: Cannot believe I’m still stuck on chapter 10.
Nov. 1, 2017: Still a tremendous amount of editing ahead, but it feels like a book now.
Dec. 14, 2017: Eight solid chapters. Onward!
February 12, 2018: My sister says she likes the first three chapters! You don’t know how happy this makes me.
April 4, 2018: The first section is done. I feel the middle section weighing heavily on me. It’s like I’m writing through a minefield of deadends, bad timing, logic traps, sloth, and general writing mistakes.
Jan. 13, 2019: Halfway through the third draft. So disappointed I’m not farther along, but it is what it is. Looks like about 18 more chapters to bend to my will.
July 13, 2019: Two-thirds through the third draft. It feels like a real story to me now. May the ancestors watch over me through this last third.