Word Count – Jan. 10, 2018

This is going to be my weekly update about where I am with my writing, and maybe about what I’m listening to/reading.  I guess it’ll happen on Wednesdays?

My second book, A Troll and his Bard, is currently sitting at 51,162 words, and I’m about half-way done telling the story.  If you’re curious what it’s about, you can check it out here.  I definitely work in fits and starts.  I’ll bang out a few thousand words in a day or two, and then find myself stymied by a single line.  During the week that follows, I go through the chapters I’ve already written and try my best to polish them.

I’m a little surprised at where the story has taken me.  Because this is only my second book, I couldn’t really tell you what my writing process is (not sure if I’ve developed one yet), but so far, I like to outline.  Definitely an outliner.  But the outlines I make are sometimes pretty vague.  Right now, for example, my outline says to explain how Eldridge (the knight-errant) became a talking sword.  When I outlined this section, all I meant was that I’m tell the tale of the altercation that got him in his predicament.  Somehow, though, right now, I’m telling this guy’s life story.  He’s seven years old.  I don’t know if I’ll show this to people later and who will insist that I cut most of it out, but for right now, I’m enjoying this journey through his life.

I’m currently reading Outland on Kindle.  This book was written by Dennis E. Taylor, whose work I first heard via Audible with We Are Legion (We Are Bob).  I can’t believe this is his first novel.  It’s very good so far, but more importantly, the cast is very, very big.  There are maybe a dozen characters or so that he seamlessly focuses on in each of the book’s super short chapters.
There’s the main group of six who have a mobile portal to a parallel earth, three thugs who pursue them, the occasional chapter told from the perspective of the news, and then a few other minor characters peppered in here and there.  They each have pretty distinct personalities and they all get their moment to shine.  My least favorite character so far is Bill, who is the obvious vehicle for the author reminding us that he knows movie references.  I mean, I love movie references, it’s just that Bill seems pretty transparent in this regard.  Thankfully, the Bobiverse books get a lot better about this, because none of the references (which mostly emerge as the names of the various Bobs) seem contrived.

Another impressive thing is the book’s scope.  My first book (which is also much shorter than Outland) takes place almost entirely on a spaceship with an 80-foot circumference.  Outland starts with the half-dozen pals discovering the new world, then quickly turns into a gold-panning scheme, and has at this point in the story turned into an escape hatch from the incoming ash of a volcano eruption.  And I’m barely half-way through.  Wow.

I just started listening to Extracted via Audible by R. R. Haywood.  Nothing to say on that yet (only five minutes in), but it’s already pretty intense.

Okay, that’s all for now!  Will I keep this up and diligently make another post next Wednesday?  Tune in to find out!

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