I just finished Chapter 8 of Raven and June! And almost nothing that I outlined yesterday for that chapter made it in. As usual, a little offhand comment blew-up into an entire chapter. This one even led to a previously unplotted sex scene that actually became necessary as a character-building exercise.
Everything I plotted yesterday that didn’t make it into Chapter 8 is going into Chapter 9. But that’s fine, as I wanted to have at least two chapters between the content from “Raven For Lunch” and “Happy Fucking Birthday.” I believe that I originally wrote those stories to be months apart, and even though I’m shortening that timeline for the book, I wanted more character building, and I need to adjust the story timing for a novel. I can’t have everything happening too quickly, or it might not make sense.
If everything goes well, I’ll start Chapter 9 on Friday. I have more housework to do tomorrow. Next week, I’ll start work on Chapters 10 and 11, possibly 12. Those will be drawn from “Happy Fucking Birthday,” so they may not be quite as much work as writing everything from scratch. At least I’m hopeful, based on the fact that HFB is only a couple of years old, and much closer to my current style than MFC and RFL were. I may have a short chapter between HFB and the unpublished story that I wrote almost immediately after I wrote HFB. IIRC they dovetail into each other pretty well, and may not need much, if any, pacing adjustments, character advancement, or anything else.
Considering the length of both HFB and the unpublished story, the material I’ve written so far will probably extend to 15-17 chapters (with appropriate padding.) But that only involves the first two acts of a three-act storyline. I still have to write the final act, which is all new material that I’ve plotted out and outlined. Considering that none of my previous books is over 17 chapters, or 35,000 words, this will almost certainly end up being my longest novel to date. That’s considering that I’m over 17,000 words into it, HFB and the unpublished story together are almost 15,000 words long, and I intend to add significantly to the unpublished short story.
So, if this isn’t 40,000 or more words long, I would be surprised.
I have a lot, and I mean a lot, of plot to work through yet. I’m hoping I can complete this before the end of March, but I could easily see it slipping to April.
Not good. I’ll see what I can do to fix that.
Wish me luck!