Happy New Year!
At this time last year, I was working on chapters 5 and 6 of the first draft of Perceval’s Shadow. This year, I’m working on chapter 6 of Perceval in Love’s first draft. I have broken the 100-page mark so I’m about a quarter of the way through. My target is 20-25 chapters and approximately 400 manuscript pages, which would translate when published into a 267-300 page hardcover book, depending on type, etc.
With chapter 6 I’ve also exhausted my current outline. I don’t write from a complete outline but I know how the story will end, so I know what I’m writing toward. I usually write ideas for chapters as I go along. The first 4 or 5 chapters come easily. They are the set-up (Act 1). Once I’ve entered Act 2 territory, the terrors set in and I slow down until I figure out the structure and conflicts in this middle section. What helps is to ask myself constantly what each character wants and what he/she will do to get it. What stands in the way? To complicate matters for PIL, I’m writing alternating points of view between Evan and Sofia. So, there are 2 parallel stories that will converge at the end (Act 3).
The next week or so I’ll probably be working on writing ideas for the next 4-5 chapters and organize them. This requires quiet thinking time in addition to my regular writing time.