Over the past couple of days I’ve been humming away on my new novel, Memoirs of Keladrayia: Jaxxa Rakala, the follow-up to Jaxxa Rakala: The Search, and the second book in my planned four-part Jaxxa Rakala series.
As many of you may know, I started writing the book back in January, but as my career goals shifted from a hopeless job search to creating my own company, the novel took a back-seat to higher priorities. I’m still very much in the process of finding new ways to build my clientele, but as I do that, I also need to keep fans of my writing as happy as can be (and of course satisfy my own creative needs). It was time to get back to it.
I haven’t written anything (at least in regards to this particular novel) since the middle of January, when I had a goal to write 15,000 words in a week (it ultimately came to just over 13,000, so I was extremely happy with that). Because of the hiatus, I knew there was no way I was going to get back into the mindset of the novel without first going back through what I had written. It took a few hours to read (and make some serious corrections), but it was exactly what I needed to pull my focus back into this extraordinary world.
When I was set to write the new pages, I set a brand new goal. Like Jaxxa Rakala: The Search, Memoirs of Keladrayia (as well as each future book in the series) will be separated into three parts. My goal: reach the end of Part One by Saturday afternoon. (I chose Saturday because I’ll be busy at the wedding expo all day Sunday and wanted to finish it before that time.)
There were some glitches of fatigue and procrastination in attempting to reach this goal, but I’m happy to report that, not only did I reach it, I did it a day early, writing the final line of Part One this afternoon. In looking over the technical aspects of these pages, I was able to nearly double the word count and I’m right on par with the length of Part One in the first book, which means I’m right where I need to be in regards to word count and page count (which ultimately won’t matter in the least, so long as the story is where it needs to be when completed).
The best part is, I’m feeling real good about where it’s at. I already know there’s a lot of work left to do to make Part One even close to readable (and consistent… and logical), but the overall structure, the ideas and the path that the characters took me down to get to where they needed to be are right on track. There were some nice surprises that came out of nowhere as my fingers flashed across the keys, but there were also a couple of things that I found to be a little too spot on and set up a reveal I didn’t think worked at all.
I always planned for this particular plot development to happen in this book, but as I was writing the sequence, it just felt far too contrived. I kept writing it nonetheless, but as I continued on past this revelation, it continued to ring false. I eventually decided to go against what my characters wanted and pulled that section from Part One to save it for later in the book. It was just way too early in the novel to reveal this key turning point.
Doing this (and staying on track to meet my goal) actually meant I had to write the last few chapters in Part One with that particular change in mind, which might seem a little odd to those who don’t write, but if you were ever to see a first draft of any of my novels, you’d know it wasn’t at all unusual. I’ve already made notes on the changes I’ll need to make as well as a couple of additional scenes I’ll need to write to fix the discrepancy.
Overall, though, Part One is exactly where it needs to be in this stage of the process, and I’m very excited to see where my characters take me in Part Two.