Thanks to Thanksgiving, I was able to finish chapter two of The King’s Bluff. Since it was also well over 5K, I think it’s reasonable to expect that the first draft of the book will be over 60K, which is an odd feeling, since that’s almost double the first draft of my last novel. I’m obsessed with wordcount, can you tell?
“What have you been doing to rile your father so, boy?”
“He was imagining things, Uncle. Hallucinating.”
For was he not? All this talk of murder and assassins, his inability to remember Antreo’s absence of seven years, his fear for his children’s lives. Were not all these the imaginings of a dying man?
One of the things I’ve learned this last month is the many different ways to stall a traveller and add suspense by doing so. Attempted theft? Check. Weather? Check. Kidnappers and/or bandits? Check. There are other things lurking in the back of my mind that I could use, but I have to save them for the other trips, right?
“It’s been an exhausting day–”
The coachman snorted. “I’ll say so. Sitting in a nice dry coach, with a little break to sit on a board. Very exhausting.”
Antreo smiled. “I actually meant for you.”
One of the problems I’ve had in past works is abruptness. I’d know I need such and such to happen, yet not how to transition properly. I’m gradually finding various ways to remove this abruptness, such as objects or memories that change the direction of a character’s thoughts.
He hadn’t understood the silence then, the long journey, or the tears that sparkled in his normally emotionless father’s eyes. All he was told was that his granddaddy the king was dying, but that didn’t make sense either. He had seen people that died before, great aunts and uncles that he knew nothing of, save that they pinched his cheeks too hard. But they were old and wizened, and his granddaddy was so alive, chasing him all through the palace, tickling him mercilessly, and telling joke after hilarious joke. How could he die?
Antreo’s own eyes sparkled with unshed tears. So alive. His father, too, had been so alive. Why did death come to those who had not yet surrendered to age?
I’m having oodles of fun with this novel. November writing, here I come!