Work in Progress: The Commanders Parts I & II

So I guess this post is a lesson in flexibility. Originally I had planned to post the second part of my Writing Resources today, but as I approach the end of my winter break I think an update on my work in progress is called for.

This year, I had a full two weeks of winter break following Christmas. I decided that after my holiday revels I would focus on making strong progress through my current work in progress, as well as finishing my college applications. As I discussed in an earlier post, this writing project has ten main characters and is divided into three parts (so far). My winter break writing goal was as follows: every day, from Monday the 26th of December to Friday the 6th of January, I would spend either at least an hour writing or write until I reached 1,000 words. So I could spend an hour staring blankly at a computer screen, or I could be productive.

Most of the time, I chose to be productive. I wrote an average of 1180 words a day, with the highest being 1747 and the lowest at 599. I only wrote less than 1,000 words when I left my writing until the evening after a long day, at which point I’m just glad my brain squeezed over 500 out. These numbers don’t take into account today, Friday the 6th. When this post goes live, I probably won’t have finished my writing session yet.

My only focus over these two weeks was my work in progress, The Commanders. I finished part I, which is mainly the introductions of the various characters. In this novel, the magic system requires the users to be bonded in pairs, so this is how several of the characters are divided up (except for one group of three and a single character). The bonding process was the second half of Part I, so once that was finished I could move into Part II.

Part II so far follows the characters as they train in the magic system and start to unravel a bit of a mystery permeating the Commanders. As I moved forward this past week, I’ve had some difficulty in writing these parts and still making the scenes compelling. I haven’t done as much prewriting for this section of the novel. Once I explore what could happen a bit more I think the writing will come easier. The introduction takes up quite a lot of space at the beginning of the novel and the action is slow to start, so that might be something I change in a later draft.

So far the draft is just over 24,000 words long. I knew ahead of time that this novel would be one of my longer projects, so I’ll be interested in where the wordcount finally stops. I don’t know if I’ll be able to maintain the hour or 1,000 words commitment since the spring semester starts Monday, but I think branching out my focus will allow me to better prepare to write the rest of the novel. I trust that as I move forward during this final semester of my senior year and into college, the flexibility I continue to learn will serve me well.

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