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Muffler's Ministry: Part One First Draft Complete

So that's the first major milestone for The Muffler's Ministry complete – I've completed the first draft of part one of the novel.

You may remember last time that I made several predictions, firstly that there would be four parts to the novel, each around 25,000 words:

  1. The Ministry

  2. The Community

  3. The Renegades

  4. The Mages

Well part one, The Ministry, came in at 31,000 words on the first draft. So I overshot by quite a bit. the original chapter structure was for seven chapters, as follows:

  1. Promotion

  2. Confrontation

  3. Interrogation

  4. Relocation

  5. Orientation

  6. Investigation

  7. Commission

Well I overshot there too, adding an eighth chapter and changing the purpose of several others. The final first draft chapters were:

  1. Promotion

  2. Confrontation

  3. Interrogation

  4. Relocation

  5. Recreation

  6. Induction

  7. Reduction

  8. Preparation

Overall though, I'm still looking at four parts with a first draft word count of around 100,000 words, with the expectation that parts three and four will be shorter than I was originally thinking. I think they will be better for it – the relaxed world-building off the first two parts would get in the way of the story's progression. It needs to be pacy.

I must admit, I'm surprised how well it's going. I usually start a novel relatively slowly and pick up the pace in the second half, but this one's been speedy from the start. The characters are already telling me what's happening and events have flowed surprisingly naturally.

As you can see, I'm still playing with ideas for my front cover layout, but there's a long way to go there too. Once I've published My Family and Other Ghosts (still expected early August), I'll add a dedicated page on The Muffler's Ministry on my website, and start to flesh out the stray for you all al little more.

As an aside, I'm considering moving my novels away from being exclusive to Amazon via their KDP publication channel over the next six months, allowing them to be available through other outlets for those who have an aversion to Amazon. If I do that, it will be after publishing My Family and Other Ghosts, but before The Muffler's Ministry, which will affect how I design my covers.

Now it's time to get on with part two. This will be slower at the start as I move out of Portsea for the first time, and introduce a few more significant characters. It's time for Tia Tobin to make her mark.

I've got an outline plan for this part now too. Like the first, it will have eight chapters, and come in just under 30,000 words. That means the first two parts will be around 60,000 words total, leaving me 20,000 words each for parts three and four. That's my prediction, and I'm sticking to it, at least until reality bites. The draft chapter names are:

  1. Arrival

  2. Reconnaissance

  3. Discovery

  4. Serendipity

  5. Expedition

  6. Confession

  7. Trial

  8. Departure

OK, that's enough planning done. Enter Tia Tobin...

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