Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Step Further

Last night I finished writing Chapter Five of The Lullaby. I've been working on it since I finished NaNo which was over a month ago. To my credit, it's the longest chapter so far at 8 pages (12 pt. font with 1 in. margins). That may not seem very long but my chapters generally aren't. Thinking of You has thirty chapters at only 50,006 words.

Chapter Five is all about Tilo's journey from Syng to the island of Cylic in the human world. Cylic is the only place on Earth that has magic beings. It is also the only place where humans know about them and the place they come from. In the original version, there were about five paragraphs dedicated to this. I'm quite happy that I've managed to turn five paragraphs into an eight page chapter. This means I'm doing what I'm supposed to. Normal fantasy/YA fiction novels are around 60,000 to 100,000 words. The first draft of The Lullaby is only 30,236 words long. I need to fatten it considerably (something to add to my first ledge requirements). I also need to be careful not to just throw stuff in to make it longer. Everything must be relevant. So far, I believe everything is, and the current word count is 8,248.

Introduced in this chapter were three characters that were not in the previous draft. (Well, Jyde was, but he wasn't named.) I think I'm going to enjoy writing about them. Their names are Sanders, Jyde, and Prestelle. They are, or will be, the rulers of the three countries of Cylic. I thought that they would be interesting to read about so they're part of the excerpt I'm going to post.

“Well, I don’t think there’s anything there,” Sanders’s arrogant tone broke through the silence like glass.

“How can you be sure? There was a noise. We all heard it,” Prestelle still sounded slightly frightened. “What do you think, Jyde?”

He answered slowly, “I think that perhaps the noise came from above us. In one of the higher tunnels or on the surface.”

“That’s perfectly reasonable. You see what happens when you let your imagination get to you, Prestelle. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I must go check on the disturbance.” Tilo heard a chair scrape back. He held his breath, not daring to hope.

A deep sigh, “I do think that’s enough for one day. We can continue tomorrow. Come on, Prestelle. You look as if you could use some rest.” The sound of wood against dirt.

“I’ll just stay here for a minute,” the woman’s voice was stony. She had not taken well to having her fears laughed at.

“Now, don’t be like that,” Sanders voice was rough.

“Like what, Sanders?” Her voice was full of warning.

Before Sanders could reply, Jyde stepped in, “Just let her be. It’s her choice where she goes.”

“Not when-” Sanders started but then he stopped abruptly. Tilo was tempted to peak around the corner to see why.

The sound of a door slamming echoed off the walls. Another sigh, “He isn’t going to be a good ruler if he keeps letting his temper get the best of him.” There was a pause, “Are you really going to stay here?”

Prestelle exhaled loudly, “No, I guess not.” She stood up. Tilo really wanted to poke his head out but he waited until he heard the door creak open and the sound of footsteps heading away.

He stepped around the corner, not believing his luck. A big smile was just starting to spread across his face when he saw the wide blue eyes. Frozen, he stared at the woman who must be Prestelle. Her eyes were set in a very pale face, though, he thought that he might have something to do with that. Blonde hair, almost white, hung down past her waist. That was all he had time to notice before a tight smile stretched her face. She raked him with her eyes and then, “Head for the sea as fast as you can. If you’re confident in your decision, go.”

Turning she walked back through the door just as Jyde called back, “Prestelle? Are you coming?”

Somehow, I have managed to develop each of their personalities in my head very well. This is often hard for me. I know what to make them do and say so that it will fit in with their character but I don't know how to describe it. These three seem to be easier to understand. Let me know what you think they're like. They're not in this book much (they'll be in The Ballad lots more) but I want them to be remembered.

I already know what I'm going to write about in Chapter Six, what's going to happen. I should be able to write it fairly quickly. I'm not going to start until after New Year's though. I have this thing where I want to start fresh. I don't want to be in the middle of something. Whether it be reading a book, or writing a chapter. So I'm waiting. Here's to hoping we all start our New Year out the way we want.


  1. Congrats on finishing chapter 5!!

  2. Thanks. ^^ Here's to hoping you reach your word goal as well. What did you think of the excerpt?