Twelve days after I finished the previous chapter, “Answers,” I finally finished Chapter 26, “Denalton.” I had a lot of distractions going on over the last two weeks, including my Mom having surgery. It turns out, I understand writer’s block now. This is the second time it’s happened this year, although, this one wasn’t nearly as bad.
I was so excited to start into Part 5, “Heading East.” It starts the warriors heading toward the object of their journey. I thought I would dive right in and be done in no more than a week. That’s not what happened at all. The first scene was a bit of a struggle as I completely re-wrote a scene that had been torn asunder when I moved a significant portion of it to earlier in the book. Once I figure out it needed to actually be two scenes, with a mostly new one leading into the bulk of the remains of the original one, I was able to write that new scene. The harder part was writing the second scene.
In the original draft, this scene included the telling of the rather long story about Tishta’s origins. It needed to be told much earlier to help set the stage for the journey. As I tried to re-write the scene, it still seemed to need a story. I decided it should be a story about the original hero, Actalim, from The Great Battle, which took place centuries earlier. I felt like I couldn’t write a legend about Actalim without writing some of his backstory. So, I dived into that. While it was a good thing to do, it ate into the limited time I had available for writing. It was frustrating to have the novel sit idle for days on end.
Last night, after spending two days with my mother while she recovered from her surgery, and not getting any writing done, I was feeling really depressed about my progress. This morning, I wrote the legend. It didn’t even take that long, once I got going. I guess I just needed a few hours to focus on it. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. If I ever write a book about Actalim’s adventures, I think it can follow this story pretty closely. It’s a legend, anyway, so some of it would be incorrect or exaggerated. When I wrote the little backstory that I did, I could see how it could suck me in to writing a whole story around Actalim. I’ll probably need to write more of this before I’m through with these first Wolf Dream stories.
Once I finished the second scene, I blew through the other three scenes in a couple hours, including recording them and doing a first edit. As I go through the book, I’m adding backstories. I did this in a couple of places in these scenes, especially for Coltan and Malcan. I also included more speculation about a new prophecy I introduced in the previous chapter, and had Malcan be reflective about the legend that he told in the second scene. I like that Malcan is not just the keeper of prophecies, but also of stories.
I currently believe this chapter is complete, although, in practice, I know I’ll jump back here to make updates and modifications as I move through the next chapter. I may also need to add a scene with dark wizards, but I don’t know what it might be right now.
I’m back to being happy about the progress and hopeful about the next chapter going more smoothly. I’m also back to having fun writing the story.
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