Writing

So, I Finished A Draft In Record Time

I mean…wow, go me.

And it makes sense; this book had the clearest, concisest outline I’ve ever done even though I hacked it to absolute bits at the end of last month when I decided that this standalone, planned out to be about 80k words total, was going to be blown up into a 300k+ word trilogy.

On 2/21, I finished the first draft of the first book of this still unnamed series (Bad Blood Working Title). Like…finished. Donzies. Kaput!

Whoa.

I wrote the first ~21k words sometime in the late summer of last year and then another ~37k words for NaNo 2021, and then when Vacancy was finally out in the world late January 2022, I reassessed my outline, followed my stupid, flighty heart, and stuck my neck out on February first with the loftiest plan I could reasonably come up with, and by the 21st had puked up another 55K. So, the first draft of book one is at 113K words…and I only planned on it being about 85k.

ANYWAY, here’s a look at my daily word counts for the past three weeks:

2/1 – 40242/8 – 38012/15 – 5189
2/2 – 41892/9 – 41492/16 – 2489
2/3 – 40392/10 – 43212/17 – 4087
2/4 – 25302/11 – 22982/18 – 1845
2/5 – 13522/12 – 10652/19 – 0
2/6 – 4182/13 – 02/20 – 0
2/7 – 39022/14 – 22762/21 – 3752

This is easily the most prolific I’ve ever been, and the words don’t even feel that bad. They will, of course, need a lot of revision, but I’m pretty happy with them as a baseline for editing later.

And the best part is, I am so ready to jump into book two. I took my original outline and spread it over three books at the tail end of January which gave me a still pretty solid first book and a good ending to the trilogy, but a meager book two and three. I had a few ideas, and I showed my critique partner a skeletal plot of the whole series, got some amazing feedback and fun, new ideas from him, and I’ve been building it since, in pieces, as it comes to me. Now with the first draft of book one complete, I’m looking back at my series outline and seeing all the new bits I’ve added, and I’ve taken the last two days to flesh them all out just like I did with the original plot so that when I dive into writing book two (today), I’m just going to go fucking wild on this thing.

The question is momentum: does it really build up, or do I burn out? The answer is almost definitely based on the gas: if there’s something there to run on, it should go relatively smoothly, but the gas has to be both actual plot as well as mental health. You can see I took a few days off and had some “down” days in the drafting stage. These happened organically, they were inevitable, and they pushed me back off my insane trajectory, but not so badly that I feel my ultimate goals are impossible to reach.

Oh, and! I know I lamented this project still being title free, but that’s the series title. I actually think I’m going to steal from myself for this and use the Blightwood titles on these books. Is that crazy? Um, weirdly, not really because holy shit do they fit:

Throne in the Dark
Summoned by the Wilds
Eclipse of the Crown

It’s almost like I came up with those titles without a solid plot for a different project, fell in love with them, and let them simmer in my brain so deeply that while I was actually plotting and writing these books they just sort of morphed to fit into those existing titles. Almost.

Things could always change, but man-oh-man…they reeeeeally fit perfectly. If I could only come up with the series title now, I’d be set. I’m sure it will have something to do with blood and have an ampersand and be very YA feeling and make me go “but I am also making a joke about this, is that okay………….???” And I’ll do it anyway, and some people will drop the book after chapter one when it doesn’t deliver, but other people will love it. That’s what I’m hoping for anyway.

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