Last night I hit a pretty big milestone in the writing of Blood & Steel. I successfully completed the first third or "act" of the novel.
Those of you who read The Crownless King will know that I wrote that novel in three distinct sections, each with its on title. Right now, I plan on doing much the same with its sequel. Last night I finished the last of 42 handwritten, college ruled front-to-back notebook pages and realized that I'd finished the first third of the novel. I knew it was going to end somewhere around the major event that happened there and I think it wrapped up nicely. I had originally figured on taking the first act just a little farther, but I believe it ended well where it did.
Yesterday was a good day. I did the basic chores early, had lunch and then played guitar and wrote for hours as the snow fell outside my window. I realize now that this would be my ideal job...to write for a living. I had a taste of this back in 2006 when I took three days off from work to prepare Chaos Reborn for final submission. During those three days I got up, ate, wrote and edited, ate, went to bed and repeated the process the next day. The Crownless King was completed mostly in the evenings during a four month stretch late one winter into early spring.
I don't know how long my unemployment hitch will last, but I do know that I'm dedicating as much of it as I possibly can to the completion of Blood & Steel. I'm not going to rush the project, but I'm going to work steady at it and see what happens. It would be wonderful to have it finished by summer.
I'm officially nine days away from finding out if I survived the first round of the Amazon Breakthrough Novel of the Year Award contest. The first round is a 300 word pitch and I feel if I can just survive that first round I'll have a decent shot. After the pitch round, they read your excerpt and I feel like my excerpt was some of my stronger writing. If I survive that, it's on to the final manuscript and then on to voting on Amazon.
I would love to be able to present Blood & Steel a year or two after winning that award. I'm writing everything now in hopes of winning the prize. If I don't win, I'll keep on writing and look for alternate publishing arrangements. But until I win or lose that contest, my publishing schedule is totally locked to the ABNA contest, so stay tuned for more details as I have them. I do know that the winning entries will be published by Penguin in 2011, so I hope to be on the shelves then.
It looks like Bethany will actually be able to make it to chorale practice tonight, so that will interrupt the writing a bit as I travel to Lewisburg with her. Fortunately it will be a chance to hang out for a little while with my family as she practices. The amount of snow they've had this winter boggles the mind. Mom told me this morning that it was deeper than she'd seen it in a long time and Dad told me that there was only one day in the next 15 that wasn't calling for snow.
Time for lunch and some more writing.