Update: Much Progress On All Fronts

Okay, so highly satisfactory progress this past week, especially this weekend. I’ve got just a couple more chapters to read, cut, and revise. I’ve cut, I’m not sure, about 20,000 words, which is enough to make me feel better about the length (it’s now about 170,000 words and will be cut to about 168,000). I’ll be adding some words when I write the epilogue. I’ve realized some important things about the epilogue, which was one benefit of doing this cut/revision before writing it, of course. I’m going to try to keep the epilogue short, though of course it will probably go longer than I would prefer. Regardless, the draft will obviously wind up under 180,000 words, which was the important thing. It will probably wind up longer than TUYO, which is startling.

TUYO is 160,000 words, by the way. TARASHANA is 210,000 words. TASMAKAT is 310,000 words, which (as I have admitted previously) is completely insane and I should have broken it into thirds. But the story itself would be the same length regardless, of course.

NIKOLES is about 74,000 words, but it’s essentially two novellas linked together, about 37K each. KERAUNANI is 110,000 words, but again, two novellas, this time braided together (it’s hard to decide how to handle putting together linked novellas). Each of those novellas is therefore about 55,000 words, . SUELEN is 73,000 words, which a lot of people would consider a novel, but given the length of the main novels in this series, I’d still call it a novella.

TANO is 120,000 words — anybody would call that a novel. MARAG is 125,000 words — again, definitely a novel, though I’m a little amused to find that the pace is so fast that some readers are perceiving it as a novella. Or maybe because it’s an “additional work” rather than a “main series work.” I wonder how readers will perceive RIHASI, given that it’s an “additional work,” but is plainly going to be longer than TUYO? I don’t think it’s as propulsive as MARAG, but I’m not necessarily the best judge.

Regardless, I still have 25 notes about revision, but that’s ten or so fewer than I used to have, so there’s that. And some of the remaining notes will be fast to handle. Offhand, I would guess I’ll be sending the complete draft to early readers probably this weekend, or maybe next Monday. That’s satisfactory.

AFTER THAT, I will finally finish the story about the boys who climbed the rainbow. If you read the first part, I hope you liked it! It has been impossible for me to tear myself away from RIHASI to finish it. That is definitely the thing I will pick up as soon as I send RIHASI off for comments.

I’ve been really happy about the comments about the first chapter here and at my Patreon, by the way. It never occurred to me that I might post early chapters there AND THUS GET VALIDATING FEEDBACK, but look at that, that’s a really useful side-effect of having the Patreon! I am often nervous about a new book, this nervousness lasts until I get comments back from early readers, and gosh, now I have comments and that makes me feel much more secure about this book. I’m really happy you all like Rihasi when you first meet her. That definitely bodes well for the full novel.

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Meanwhile! The puppies are exactly five weeks old today, and personalities are juuuuust beginning to emerge. While personalities will continue to emerge (really fast!) over the next few weeks, I now have early impressions about two of the puppies, as follows:

I’m pretty sure about that ruby girl!

The thing about this ruby — this is Ruby Girl Two, aka The Big Ruby, who is, despite that sobriquet, the second-smallest puppy. The thing about her is that she is VERY, VERY CONFIDENT. Look at this:

Ruby Girl Two chases Great Uncle Conner down the hall. He is a little blurry because he is backing up fast. He is backing up because the instinct not to hurt tiny puppies is strong and he is just meeting her for the first time, which is when that instinct is strongest. At this point, the male dogs can be trusted to recognize puppies as puppies and not hurt them, which is why I’m letting the ruby run at Conner.

The puppy is not particularly aiming for Morgan, by the way, even though Morgan is obviously in front of her. She is bouncing toward any dog who is nearby, with complete confidence and great enthusiasm. None of the other puppies would try this (yet). They are all sitting inside the puppy room gazing out at the Big World. Three others have ventured a few inches out of the puppy room, but then they retreat. You see why that hesitation would be adaptive, of course. In the wild, a puppy like Ruby Girl Two might easily follow the big wolves too far from the den and get herself into serious trouble. It’s far better for puppies in the wild to hang back until they are more physically capable. BUT, for a domestic dog, it’s different. I love seeing this kind of confidence. This, it is already clear, is a puppy who has been “born socialized.” She thinks the world is her oyster. If I keep her (practically certain, I love this attitude!) and show her (I will if she is beautiful enough, but nearby shows only), then she is going to strut into the show ring with complete aplomb and a LOOK AT ME attitude, perfect for a show dog.

I think the smaller ruby, Ruby Girl One, Little Ruby Girl, is also going to be a bit of a hellion compared to the bigger puppies, but I’m not sure. I’m at least pretty sure she isn’t going to get bullied. I think the black-and-tans may be be more middle-of-the-road, but again, I’m not sure. That Blenheim puppy is as big as the black-and-tans, substantially bigger than the rubies. But, if any puppy is going to be bullied by his littermates, it’s him. He could become more assertive, especially as he learns he can take advantage of his bigger size. But at the moment, he is plainly more gentle than the others and rather too inclined to let both rubies bully him. He may do best with Haydee and Naamah, who can be trusted to be gentle with a tiny cousin.

I am now just assuming I will lose half an hour multiple times a day because I will be gazing at the puppies and letting them nibble my fingers and encouraging them (the other four) to leave the puppy room. Also, increasing cleanup duties until they’re able to run outside on their own, at least three or four weeks in the future. They have also entered the Maximum Cuteness stage, which will last for a good few weeks. I plan to enjoy it as much as possible.

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3 thoughts on “Update: Much Progress On All Fronts”

  1. Too cute!! Ruby Two reminds me of Gimli (and his unrelated “brother”, Gourdy). I also love that kind of personality : ) Looking forward to more photos as they grow up.

  2. I initially expected MARAG to be a novella. I think this was both because it was a “side story” and also because the main problem seemed like a relatively small one when the story began. I think I realized it was a novel about the time a certain character turned up in the throes of madness. Clearly the problem was a lot more serious than it had first appeared.
    I was so delighted that it was a novel. The longer the better!

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