I suppose this is the half-way point. I’m at 19,257 words and I’ve been blessed with spontaneous creativity the past few days.
Here in what I thought would be the slowest portion of the novel, I’ve actually been able to inject quite a bit of action: hand-to-hand combat, espionage, survival. What I’m realizing, however, is that my attention to detail is suffering for progression of the plot.
Of course, you could say that detail is pointless if it doesn’t progress the plot. I say balderdash. I’m a weaver of epics – I know the pace and feeling of my own worlds. You’ll take what I give you. (see how I boost my confidence by pretending to be a aggressive writer?) I know what threads to use, and how long to make them in this tapestry.
My biggest problem has been dialogue. I’m usually fairly competent at it, but I’ve never really had to deal with such large groups before. How much detail do you need for a conference of forty people? Sure, not all of them are major players, but I begin to feel like I’ve not put enough detail into the scene. I’m imagining a reader being a third-party here – if the reader had free will, he could look at a minor character and see his reactions to the main dialogue. In my narrative, the reader isn’t even aware of where exactly said minor character is in the room. I can’t go through and detail forty characters, their positions, their outward demeanor, and their reactions to every bit of dialogue can I?
No, not in this medium. So, I just push through, leaving what I realize are gaps in detail, with full intentions to come back and fill in all the voids. I plan 150,000 words at the end of first draft, but that’s just the framework, the big events. I think honestly, this could be somewhere between 250,000 and 400,000 words at final draft.
My favorite bit from the last five days:
Cassius held her head underwater again, reveling in the bucking of the dying woman’s body. She scratched against his naked flesh, cutting gashes that bled.
“It’s a fascinating feeling,” the Immortal remarked to his companion as he ignored his wounds. “Knowing they won’t return from this.”
“Aye, my lord,” Coos mewled, clapping his hands in delight.
“How many are left?” Cassius asked, pulling the girl’s head above water again.
“Only three, my lord,” Coos said sadly. “Your Mages haven’t had as much luck capturing Bear Clansmen as of late. And Lord Carthos’s last daughter is with child.”
Casting the gasping girl aside, Cassius sighed. “This is growing tedious, Coos. I need entertainment. It’s difficult having this much responsibility on my shoulders. I need release.”
“The daughter of Carthos may be with child, but that shouldn’t prevent your intrusions,” Coos suggested.
“No,” Cassius sighed. “Even that leaves me wanting afterwards. I need something new.”
Pulling his robes up around his naked body, Cassius casually walked over to the basin and washed the blood from another victim off his hands. The woman he had tried to drown was struggling to her feet. Cassius paid her no attention as she stumbled several steps before collapsing.