Progress report

Jeroen Steenbeeke  
I've been working on the sequel for Gift of the Destroyer for a while now, but I don't feel like I'm making much progress. Currently, I am working on the 6th chapter (out of 32) and have written about 15K words (out of a ~90K goal). On the other hand, the first draft for Gift of the Destroyer took me a year and a half to write, and was about the same size. Gift of the Destroyer is 90K words, and was written in 18 months, giving an average speed of 5K words per month. Considering the fact that I can easily do this amount of work in a week�if I put my mind to it, I'm certain the sequel can be done faster.

Currently, I'm at 15K words, with about 2 months of work put into it (not counting outlining, which was done far more thoroughly than for Gift of the Destroyer), which gives me an average of 7.5K words per month. Still nowhere near what I'm capable of, but closer still. If I put in some extra effort, I should be able to finish my first draft far faster than the first draft for Gift of the Destroyer.

Of course, I had already reached 31K words with this sequel once. Earlier this year I had a writing resolution to write 5K words each week no matter what, and I actually managed this for a month and a half. Of course, when I finally took a moment to look at what I'd written so far, I found the pacing was completely off, the character development was sub-par, and the story simply didn't work as I had written it. I had already passed the midpoint (at only 30K words), had revealed the true identity of the protagonist (who has amnesia) through a few very obvious clues, and had no idea how to continue. I had some vague idea of how I wanted to finish the story, but I still had two thirds of a novel to write and not much plot left to fill it with.

So I scratched this, trashed the outline, and went back to the drawing board. I changed a lot of details. I moved the midpoint from my earlier draft to the climax of the second act, giving much more room for character development. I also removed most of the clues regarding the protagonist's origins, most of which won't be revealed until the second act climax. Finally, I am giving greater importance to another storyline which had only a minor role in the original draft, and which has roots in the epilogue of Gift of the Destroyer.

In any case, I'm hoping to speed up the pace in the next few weeks. The current chapter is rather difficult, as it sets up a lot of stuff that may become important later on. That's what the First Act is for right?