Three days after my last progress posting, I finished another chapter. After I completed the new chapter, “Deltran,” I decided, at more than eight thousand words, its length was not proportional with the rest of the chapters in the book. I broke it in two, so the twelfth chapter is now called “Northeastern Colmarian Range” and the new thirteenth chapter is “Deltran.” That ended up kind of nice, since I didn’t have to write “Chapter 13” and moved right on to the fourteenth. At the same time, I had a chance to listen to my recordings of the scenes in these new chapters a few times, and made some changes based on what I was hearing. Hearing the story read to me is still the best way I have found to make sure it flows and sounds right.
I was excited to get into the next chapter, “Fire.” It is the first big battle scene and also one of the first ones I wrote. When I first started writing, I listened to music a lot—it seemed to help me let my mind go, and the writing just flowed out of my fingertips. During this scene, and many other battles, I mostly listened to the soundtrack from “Gladiator.” It is such an intense piece of music, and perfect for writing fight scenes. Remember that epic battle near the beginning of the film? Throw your warriors into that and watch how they perform.
After “Deltran,” I had not finished tying the end of “Part 2: Learning to Trust” to this battle that was previously at the beginning of “Part 3: Travels and Battles.” I had to write a couple of more scenes. It has been difficult for me to know how much to write. I don’t want the book to double in size from the first draft. I have been using these opportunities to include more interaction between the characters, and I think the amount of writing I have put into it is all right.
In the first scene, “Natural Obstacles,” as the group is descending from high in the mountains, I placed an incline, too steep for the draft horses to go down with the wagon. It gave me an entirely probably obstacle for the group to surmount. This scene and the next one, “Follow Us,” also allowed me to sprinkle in some exposition about Kano’s visions and Mar’s healing ability, not to mention give some background about how magic works in this world.
And then, I got to the battle scene, “Stay Close Together.” I was able to get through all five battle scenes really quickly. I needed to edit these to bring them up to my current writing style and standard, but I also added a lot more description and expanded the battle scenes. I included a new scene, “Very Strange,” where my second pair of antagonists have a conversation while the battle is taking place, which helps explain why some of the things happened to Coltan and the others.
I like where this chapter ended up and also how quickly it went. I think the next four chapters will be similar. The final chapter in this section is one that will need a fair amount of work. I think, at this point, I’ll set the goal of finishing Part 3 by the end of the year. I’ll be about three-quarters of the way through the book by then. I’m hoping to finish the editing by the end of February and get it off to my editor for review. I’ll be offering it to beta readers at that time, so if you’re interested in doing that, let me know.
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