Ghostwriter Diaries 14

NotebookWell, that’s the second big milestone reached. At around 6:30am today I put down the final words of Chapter 25, completing Act II of the fantasy novel I’m ghostwriting. My deadline to submit this middle chunk of the book is Monday morning, so I have the weekend to review it. I don’t have time to do a full edit, but that’s okay. Over the next couple of weeks, the editorial team will be poring over the manuscript, leaving me free to climb the final mountain: Act III.

My word count for the past four weeks totals a little over 35,000. That’s a lot in a short space of time, but I’m in the groove now, so it hasn’t felt like hard work. I had a problem with one chapter. The version I’m submitting is my second stab at it, and it still feels like something’s not quite gelling. But I can’t put my finger on it. That said, when I skimmed through it again briefly this morning, it read smoothly enough. So it might just be me not seeing the wood for the trees.

The other issue I’ve had is with violence. The outline I’m working from includes a couple of wonderful gory scenes. My temptation, of course, is to go all-out with the blood and guts, but I have to remember that I’m writing for ages ten and upwards. At the same time, kids love that stuff, right? At that age, I certainly did. And my golden rule of writing fiction for children is: ignore the fact that you’re writing for children, and just tell the damn story. So, while not doing a Stephen King, I’m also not holding back. If the editors want to rein me in, that’s fine. But the first draft is the only opportunity I’ll have to push this thing to the limits. So that’s what I’ve done.

Now, I wonder if I need to add anything to that scene with the severed head …

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