First Draft February
Only about 4,000 words written for the novel. Why the decrease from January’s 42k? I finished my first draft, that’s why! The end flew by, mostly because I didn’t write as much there as I did at the start of the novel. I already knew many of my planned revisions would affect the end, so I spent a little less time worrying what the trees in any particular location looked like and focused on the characters.
After the rush of excitement and ice cream, I closed the first draft window and let it sit alone for a bit. “They” say to do this before the second draft so you’re not as attached to your work and you can come at it with a fresh eye. “They” also publish more books than me (I’m at zero), so I thought I’d take the advice.
I did not stop writing, however. I started up a new file and began work on a short story about a battle mage with a bad attitude. Just to make it more complicated, I threw it in space. My writing group seemed to enjoy the characters and ideas but said it was WAY too much story for the word count I’d used. The good news is they think it’ll make a great novel; the better news is I have a great writing group who tells me these things. This is what writing groups are good for!
Now that the month is over, I’ve gone back to the first draft of the second novel. I’m updating the outline and arcs, polishing my thoughts on the world, and adding two POV’s. Yes, two more point of view characters, because one wasn’t enough and I like a challenge. Should I add these POVs? Who knows, but I have to try to find out. This is where writing differs from my engineering job quite a bit, as there I generally know what I need to do. I can also usually tell if my math is correct. Writing is a lot less certain, at least in my limited experience. Does that improve with time? Let me know in the comments if you’ve had a different experience.
I know some people don’t enjoy the revision process, but mine involves a spreadsheet, so I’m quite happy.
Legion versus Phalanx by Myke Cole. I picked this up after finishing the first draft for something different. As I haven’t read a history book of this type ever, this was different. The author is a fiction writer as well, though, and I found the narrative easy to follow and enjoyable to read. The events of more than 2000 years ago can seem difficult to understand, but he does a great job explaining the details and relating it to modern day motivations. I’d call this a history book for people who don’t usually like reading history, and have recommended it widely.
Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri. I picked this out of a list of recommended debut books on Amazon, and I am so glad I did. The novel was inspired by the Indian Mughal Empire, which I knew nothing about before reading but now want to study. There are few swords, but plenty of tension in this tale, and I devoured it over two days, stopping only to sleep, eat, and work.
Assassin’s Creed Odyssey on the PS4, still. This was the only video game I played this month. The story with this game is excellent, and I am so emotionally invested I stayed up until midnight one night tracking down an evil group after they killed a friend. I’m nearing the end of the game, but have more to look forward to as they’ve added a New Game + and there are DLCs.
Dungeons and Dragons. Our group is going strong, and my druid is finally at a level she can cast some pretty badass spells. Assuming she doesn’t get killed, of course. She’s very squishy. This goes well with my Critical Role consumption, which is still the only show I watch all week.
Just Critical Role, in terms of media. Nature has been entertaining, however. We’ve had snow, ice, tornados, wind chill warnings, and 60 degree days. These often occur one right after the other, with little transition. It is snowing as I write this.
The weather has made one of my other hobbies more difficult – hiking. I’m training for a five-day hike in April in North Carolina. I hate treadmills, so the bad weather has forced me to do something new. This month, I became a mall walker. That’s right, one of those people who just walks in circles in the mall. I have to get my miles somewhere!