Just in time to give me a day off on my birthday, I completed the first draft of part 2 or Scouring Juventas at the end of last week. So as is tradition now, it's time for me to tell you how it went, and what comes next.
I started off by making some minor tweaks to part 1, fixing the motivation issues I'd spotted in Jess Kimber's arc. That was a good move, as it ended up driving her story in part 2, setting things up perfectly for part 3.
Ravi Antic's personal arc went in an unexpected direction in part 2 as he and the other people on the same expedition told me how they were getting on with each other and formed alliances behind my back. That ended up pushing a key event from part 2 into part 3, and the pacing will be all the better for it. Glad my characters know better than me and aren't afraid to tell me.
The chapter names ended up completely different to my plans and were slightly longer than anticipated, as follows:
Part 2 came in at 24,500 words, giving an overall total so far of 52,500, which is well over halfway. Although there are still two parts to go, part 4 will be a little shorter, and I've already written the Duties (prelude, interludes and epilogue).
So what are the plans for part 3? Things are starting to change. Chapters are still alternating between Jess Kimber and Ravi Antic, although Jess gets an extra one in this part. There's a third perspective poking its nose in, short interjections from the character featured in the Duties who has a couple of dilemmas to consider. Part 4's starting to crystallise nicely in my mind already too.
Yes, that's another slightly bluer attempt at the front cover above, although not quite where I think I'll end up. When I get to the end of part 3, I'll decide exactly where it's going to settle, knowing it'll be blue. It needs reframing a little at the same time. I know I'm delaying the inevitable, but I'm keen to crack on with the words.