Episode 15 – Over the halfway mark

In All Jest,
Episode 15,episode 15, broadcast on
at22nd of january 2021



Welcome to the In All Jest podcast.

I'm Darryl, your host, and each week I take you on a hero's journey.

I leave my safe, normal world and face many obstacles on my quest to publish not just one but six epic fantasy novels. .

I hope you'll come along for the ride.

You can find out more information at kingdarryl.com/podcast.

Hey, there it's episode 15 recorded on January the 22nd, 2021. Right now, pretty much all I'm doing is writing, writing, writing. As I raced to finish the first draft of, for me twice, it's all about my word count.

Since Last Time


Well, I had hoped to be recording episodes prior to today. I just didn't quite get there, which means I did have a good break over my summer holidays, being away from my day job, plugging away at writing words. And I just never got around to getting back into the saddle and recording another episode. So here I am today.

Ready to get going for the year and to get the momentum rolling, and recording a full episode every two weeks and the in between episodes, which will have just the narration of chapters. What has happened since last time? Well, for the last few days of December, I ended up writing 12,344 words. And in January to this point, I've written 29,805.

So all up, I covered just over 42,000 words over the last four weeks. Which I'm happy about. I am very happy that I've made great progress. It's not as much progress as I would like to have made. I was needing to do around 2,500 words. I didn't always get there.  I'm now, I've allowed it to push out, it's getting a lot closer to 3000 words, if I want to make the deadline of February the 28th to have the first draft done.

The total at the moment, according to Scrivener is 119,734 words. So definitely been making good progress. There is a little hitch in that, that the number includes some chapters and scenes that were written originally, right back at the beginning, which I've mentioned before.

And as I replaced them, I delete them. So I might write 1500 words, and then I delete 1500 words. So the total isn't progressing as fast as potentially some of the words that I've actually written. And unfortunately, there's nothing I can do about that. Probably talk a little bit more about that in where is the story at and how has the writing been going.

So where is the story at? Well, I've been developing my antagonists and their roles and all their different stories. It has been interesting, getting more involved with them. In A Fool's Errand, there is a lot less focus on them. They're conceptually there, but we don't see their stories from a point of view.

That has changed in Fool Me Twice, the introduction of the primary antagonist and the people around him. So that is coming along. Lani's journey has progressed and, I'm happily adding more complications, more instinctively as I go. When I wrote A Fool's Errand, one of the things I had to fix in my later edits was making sure that the obstacles in her path, the complications she would come across, existed in her story.

I'm really happy with where I got them to be. This time around, I'm more cognizant of that. And I'm making sure that that's part of every scene and a combination of scenes that I keep that very much in mind and I don't let the story get away from me. I do think it's a lot easier this time, because there aren't quite as many scenes that involve Lani on her own, or Lani as a whole, her, her character exists.

She's a primary part of the story clearly, and that will continue. In A Fool's Errand. We had a lot of it about her. I mean, a large section of the book was about Lani and her progression. That continues in Fool Me Twice. Probably not quite as many scenes as we had. And that's partly because of the other characters and the breadth of the story.

It's become very obvious to me how the breadth of the story grows. And I guess I know that from reading other fantasy series. But seeing mine as well, evolve, not only do I have the characters like Lani or Tillandra that have their own stories and they need to be expanded and things that they're working on or journeys, they're making all of those things have to come out in the story, but  the secondary characters and tertiary characters that have important roles to fulfill plot threads that need to be expanded on and completed.

They add scenes that make those things happen. Sometimes they're off camera, but a lot of them can't be a lot of them you have to experience and go through. So now we see more of Goran, we see more of other characters as they are needed to, you know, create that breadth in the story and to help the reader, see these different plot threads play out. There's of course, new characters.

And there are five new characters that have a point of view that I need to develop in Fool Me Twice. One of them is a Jester that we haven't met before, she comes into it. We have a student in the college, the primary antagonist,  that, I talked about and there's another character that I can't really explain.

I enjoyed writing him in the original draft of this part of the story and being able to go back and rewrite him again, redoing some of those chapters. And I will talk a little bit more about why rewrote some of them, but I really liked the way he's developed.

The last of the five that I've added is something different altogether. And I, I can't really say anything about that character. It would give away too much. Writing them in, took some work and I'll be making more of them as the  series progresses

It is something that I wanted in A Fool's Errand didn't really work there. And so I, I didn't make it happen then. I now have the right place for this to commence for them to come into the story and to develop that out. And I'm interested to see how that will play out. As I mentioned, I haven't kept up too many of the original scenes.  I've kept the storylines and what the end goal of each scene was,  what the complications were more or less, but I just felt I could write them better.

I feel that my writing now is much stronger. I feel that I. I produce better written word as my first draft than I did previously. And albeit that they'll get edited by me and then looked at by the editor, et cetera. I want to make sure that I do the best job possible in the first draft to cut down the time in the whole production of the book.

So I've been doing that. It's pretty natural that I would progress that way. I've become better. The more words I've written, the more I've gone through the process,  and now I, I've written well over 500,000 words as I've progressed along, probably closer to three quarter of a million.

So I have been refining how I do it. It's a long way to go until I could think I was an expert at it, but I'm better than I was 450,000 words ago. It's probably a good lesson to me, to not overproduce,  words in the future. This was a unique circumstance because I split the original book and these were leftover.

I think, it's easier to write from scratch. After so much time has gone on so much of the story has changed and there are a couple of scenes in this, that is still lingering around for a character that I removed from A Fool's Errand. So I will need to remove them from this as well. Of course I've deleted words as well as written new words.

So the total word count just doesn't go up as fast as I'd like, but if I write a whole new scene, so 1500 words, and then I delete one previously, that was 1500 words. My net gain is zip.  But that's just the way it is.  Interesting thing in the last couple of weeks, I've built a distance grid. Now you may be familiar with the, road assistance organizations, do them travel companies, do them where, you know, you have three or four cities on the left, three or four across the right.

And it tells you the distances between them. If you're touring around an area. I have this massive spreadsheet of many of the cities and major towns on Dharatan and listed them out in a grid. And as I measure the distances as I need to, I'm writing them in there so that I can quickly go back and see the distances without having to remeasure them time and time again.

And this is really important for me to maintain the timeline, being able to maintain the timeline, if a character is going from Callet to Diwedd and it's this distance and then someone else is coming the other way or going to be passing through Diwedd. I need to make sure that everything coincides the timing wise, that, things don't get out of whack and that is getting more and more complex as I've got more and more people in motion, in different parts of the world.

I just need to have something  to keep them. Yes. I could measure them every time, but doing something multiple times just doesn't make sense. And I I'd rather be writing. And little tools like that, help me maintain the integrity of my world. They helped me, keep it more realistic. Yes. It's a fantasy series.

I do have a little bit of freedom, at the bend time or do things if I wanted to, but I really would like that the integrity of this is kept, strong. The rules of the world are kept together. There's distance, riding, walking, carriages have certain distances. Are we, on a river?

Paddling a canoe. Are we on a boat.  All of those things. There are different distances that people can cover depending on. What method of transportation they're using. And I want to keep that reasonably accurate there.

And probably the last thing is just learning how to make my antagonists be people and not just the bad guy. Or the opposition.  I am enjoying making their stories real. I feel like I need to make them sinister or dark, but the truth of it is I don't think I do. They're characters, living their worldview, which they think is correct, and they're trying to achieve their goals.

And over the other side, I have my protagonist doing their goals and trying to achieve those things. The fact that they come into conflict is where they become the antagonist and understanding that and actually doing it is kind of interesting. And I don't know how well I'll have pulled it off until I go back to reflect on my first edit at it and see it all.

So I look forward to that when I get to it, but that's what I'm doing. What comes next? I just gotta get more words done per day.  As I said, February 28th is when I want to have the first draft done. I'm either going to have to commit more weekend time to lift my average or get less sleep or something like that, but I need to get to 2,500 to 3000 words a day.

If I'm going to get there a couple of solid weekends of five or 6,000 woods would help bring that back down again. But you know, gotta be realistic as well. I'm going to get back to the regular episodes on this podcast. Every two weeks, I'll do the full outline of where I'm at and the in-between will be narrations of chapters.

I've got to manage all the plot threads. I have notes and notes and notes and notes of this. Person's got to do that. And this person's got to do that, et cetera. I've got to do that. I've got to keep on top of the storyline and things that are developing, but really it's about writing more words and that's what I've got to do.

One Bite at a Time

Chapter Three (Audio Only)




Thanks for listening to this chapter of the In All Jest podcast. For the show notes and more about this podcast, visit kingdarryl.com/podcast. You can contact me through that site and find me on Twitter @ireckon. If you enjoy the show please tell others, share my posts and review it on your favorite podcast platform. Till next time.