A novel milestone

Word count: 40,088

Forty thousand words is a good psychological barrier to break. It’s half a novel (though a little less than half this particular novel, I suspect). The novel in question is my current work-in-progress. If you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that’s a prequel to my novel Dragoncharm, which is currently operating under the working title of The Spiral Skull (a title I’m incidentally coming to hate).

The forty thousand mark comes partway through chapter 12, entitled Carbethon. Carbethon is a dragon settlement besieged by rather nasty creatures called buthrus. I don’t want to say too much about them here, except for mentioning that they’re going to give my dragon protagonists quite a run for their money. The action’s hotting up as I near the end of the novel’s second section, so much battling is in order.

Now I’m actually writing about them, it turns out the buthrus aren’t what I expected them to be. Abalone, bless his cotton dragon socks, has just steered the story a little off-outline by telling his companion Nimbus what the buthrus really are, and where they really come from. Apparently they’re more than just big old monsters from the desert … there’s something more sinister going on. Abalone’s proving tricky like that. Sometimes I think he’s out to sabotage the whole operation. His independence, however, is a good thing. It means he’s got a mind of his own. If he’s surprising me, it’s a fair bet he’s going to surprise you too, dear reader.

Overall, I’m disappointed with what I perceive as the novel’s slow progress, which is why I’m so pleased to break this barrier. And at least the pace is picking up. After the story’s early action, I’ve spent a lot of time setting up dominos. It’s nice to be able to start knocking them over at last.

But that title’s got to go.

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