You know what, there’s a reason I really love writing the Tuyo-world books. I mean, maybe someday one will be difficult, but I’m happy to say that this is not that day.
Anyway, I’m not finished — quite. I won’t finish MARAG today — quite. But I should be well into the final chapter by tonight, and I should be writing the epilogue tomorrow, or maybe Wednesday. Even if I don’t finish it quite that fast, this will still be the fastest Tuyo-world novel so far. January before classes start is SO EXCELLENT as a time to write, especially a book I’m enjoying. Until Morgan threw a spanner into the works, I was averaging 8000 words a day and I got back to that level yesterday.
I’ve accumulated a couple dozen notes about stuff to do during the first basic revision pass.
–>I started a subplot, so I want to complete that.
–>I want to combine two very minor characters.
–>I may put a character list at the end. (I should probably put a character list at the end.) (Fine, I’ll put a character list at the end.)
–>I want to give a currently unimportant character a more important role in order to increase tension.
–> Connected with the above, I need to think about whether there is enough tension in the relationship part — not too much, not the wrong kind, but enough tension of the right kind. There is plenty of tension in the action plot, and by the way, there is a lot more action than I expected. I thought this would be almost entirely a relationship story, but it is actually an adventure story with a strong relationship component.
And then there are a bunch of very minor tweaks. Plus the tedious business of going through and creating a timeline to see where everyone is when everything happens, so I can make sure that works.
Plus I need to look carefully at all the names. We know only a few familiar characters here — Sinowa, Marag, Garoyo (he’s fourteen here), Koro (he became king fairly recently). I think that’s it. Oh, there’s a reference to Royova inVotaro, but he isn’t going to appear on stage. So obviously there are a lot of new characters and obviously they’re all Ugaro, which means all the names are Ugaro names, and honestly it’s a good thing I have the Tuyo World Companion so I can check and see what names I’ve used before.
I haven’t actually sat down and worked out how many six-letter words you can create by alternating consonants and vowels, always ending with a vowel, never ending with “i” or “e,” never starting with “o” or “i,” never using “j” or “q” or “c” or “x” or “z.” I think those are the constraints for male Ugaro names. Female names are even more constrained, as apparently the only letters that can end female names are “a” and “g.” Anyway: I’m sure the number of possible names is very large, but creating enough names that look okay to me and don’t look too similar to other names is REALLY HARD, and I guess I could have thought ahead a bit before putting those constraints into the language, but who knew I’d be writing literally over a million words in this world? (So far.)
Let me see, what else? Okay, you might like to know that this book is at 94,000 words and should go to about 110,000 words, maybe a little more. I think I’ve (finally) figured out one reason everything goes half again as long as I expect: it takes a stunning number of words to do transitions and movement. I knew that, but I really noticed it this time. Every single time you start a chapter, you have to establish the scene, and that takes a lot more words than seems reasonable, but it just does. I think that adds as many words as suddenly deciding to pick up a secondary character and do a real subplot around that character, which is the other thing that increases word count. If this book goes much past 110K, that will be why.
Chapters strictly alternate in viewpoint, beginning with Sinowa’s pov in a brief prologue type of chapter that takes place a few months before the story really begins. I really like that prologue. You can see what you think. Marag takes the first chapter of the real story, and the last chapter. Sinowa will take the epilogue. Everyone is going to like the epilogue, I’m pretty sure.
By this time next week, I should be about ready to send this book to first readers.
I may or may not take a week off before I begin RIHASI. I’ve been looking forward to that one so long that I may just not want to take a break. You know what I’ve realized? That the experience of writing a book “in flow” is honestly very similar to immersive reading. That sure explains why I am torn between plunging straight into RIHASI versus “taking a break” — it doesn’t feel like taking a break, it feels like tearing myself away.
It’s very, very satisfying to begin the year with a book that’s just about ready to go.
Extra update: I’ll probably be sending out the next newsletter later this week. Sorry, I totally forgot about it even though I’ve finished the story about young Ryo stealing the tiger pelt. That story grew to 20,000 words and therefore there will be three more parts to it. I’m going to arrange to make those stories available before I do the second Tuyo World Companion, so that should happen later this month, probably.
If you have comments about any of the stories that appear in the newsletter, drop those comments in a post here or email me. I’ll want to do a bit of revision before I put them anywhere in final form.