JuNoWriMo is over, leaving my current WIP (The Dying of the Light) at 122, 753 words as of this morning. I had plans to reach 50,000 in the third week and spend the fourth week actually finishing the novel so that once July came I could wholly focus on my upcoming fantasy, but life had other plans and I came down with a bad case of the flu instead. I won JuNo by the skin of my teeth; squeaking past the finish line with a few hundred words to spare by the end of June 30th.
It’s been a running joke since the first 50,000 words or so – every ten thousand words I would say, ’60k and the gang still isn’t together,’ or ’70k and the gang still isn’t together.’ By 100k people were actually checking on the gang, and by 120k people were saying, “I guess I shouldn’t ask.”
“It’s a Robin Hood retelling,” I hissed through gritted teeth as I wrote. “The gang has to get together.” Until, with reluctance, I grudgingly accepted the fact: this is not one novel, but a series. The first book had to be the story of how the gang got together, rather than their exploits afterwards.
That decided, the rest began to flow surprisingly well (by which I mean everything in the novel is falling apart) leading up to the end of The Dying of the Light.
The current plan is to complete Book 1 this week or the next and let it cool while I finish plotting As the Sun Pierces the Night (ASPN, for short), and in August I’ll begin writing that. Once I finish that (whenever that is) I’ll go back to the Robin Hood series (which now needs a series name, which means I need to spend several hours wracking my brain for something that suits) and then write Book #2.
I estimate book one will finish at roughly 130,000 words, but I’m very bad at estimating anything to do with my own novels, so you didn’t hear it from me.
“If you have the power to save someone’s life and you withhold that power, it’s the same as killing them.” Winter shook his head gently. Quietly, almost under his breath, he added, “Although if you’re right, I suppose that makes you the better man. I would have severed his head.”
Takuan sighed, as if realizing that his upcoming action would give him the appearance of a three-year-old. He pointed into the office and said, “One of your samurai is cleaning out the office in an extremely careless manner.”
Nobunaga strode forward and turned to gaze into the office. “Eguchi.”
He did not raise his voice to speak the word, but the samurai snapped to attention and turned, bowing from the waist. “Commander.”
“Please vacate the office. Lieutenant Takuan will see to clearing out the office. Please vacate the space and allow him to work.”
Takuan unleashed a relieved breath. “Thank you, Commander.”
Nobunaga faced Takuan and nodded a fraction of an inch. “Have it ready in twenty minutes,” he said, before turning and ducking out the front door.
“Well,” said Takuan after a moment, as the samurai stalked past him without so much as a glance, “at least the new commander is reasonable.”
Haka gave Takuan a dark look. “You just volunteered yourself for cleaning duty.”
For a moment, Nix was silent, his eyes darting left and right as if reading his response as he mentally wrote it. Then he said brightly, “Oh, well, I suppose we’ll have to kill him.”
“Grab anything you want to take,” said Tsuki, opening the cabinet over the two-burner stove.
“Am I to take that as a yes, we are indeed killing him, or a no, we can’t do that?”
“The latter. Do you have anything but ramen?”
After ten seconds that seemed more like minutes, she saw Saizou – but it was not the view she expected. He wasn’t ducking through some alley – he was running across a rooftop, with Tsuki and Kiba close behind him.
Riza shook her head. “You found a shortcut through the shortcut,” she said aloud, removing the last ball of gum from the bowl on the desk. “Nice work, but I hope you realize that just made my work harder. I don’t appreciate that. You’re a stinker.”
Creature crouched down, his white lab coat stained a deep, brilliant red. He was soaked in blood again – his face, his hair, his hands. He was horrifying.
“I’ve already given you one bath today,” Oscar groaned. He turned to the Prince-Regent and demanded, “What was the point of that? What was the bloody point?”
The Prince-Regent was not looking at him; he was fixated on Creature, with an almost feverish light in his eyes. “He’s perfect.” He blinked once, twice, and said with a bit more realism, “Or he will be, once he’s matured.”
“Matured? He has the brain of a five-year-old, I might remind you – if he grows perfectly, and I mean perfectly, with no hitches whatsoever, he might behave like a fifteen-year-old within a year. He might. To catch up to a thirty-year-old body? That’s going to take some time.”
The Prince-Regent tucked a strand of hair behind his ear and said coolly, “You have two weeks.”