top of page

Scouring Juventas: Part 3 Complete

Well, that's part 3 of Scouring Juventas complete. Nothing like I anticipated, but it went fast, and was fun. Considering I took a week off for Christmas, and developed an eye problem which meant I couldn't focus properly on the screen for a bit until the eye drops kicked in, I think it was pretty good going. [Nothing too serious, had it before, and cleared up now, just frustrating!]

Not only did part 3 turn out different to my expectations, but it also changed my plans for part 4. Let's start at the beginning. Last time, I said that part 3 would look like this:

This was the first time I intended to use the perspective of the character in the 'Duty' interludes within the main body of the story. Those are the pink ones beginning with 'Dilemma.'

As I was writing the Dilemmas, they didn't sit right. I was straining to make the narrative work, more because I'd got addicted to the structure rather than the needs of the story itself. So I took a step back and had a look. Out went the Dilemmas. In came a couple of new Duty interludes, and the plans for part 4 were thrown away. Nothing significant in the story has changed, just the way I'm telling it.

Well, part 3 ended like this:

As is my wont, I've renamed most chapters, but other than that, what I intended to say there remained reasonably unchanged. However, I did add an additional short chapter at the end, largely bringing something forward from part 4. It sits better here. The characters told me what to do, as usual. On the whole, they behaved better this time, although two of the supporting characters did go and start a relationship behind my back.

Part 2 came in at 21,500 words, giving an overall total so far of 75,500, including other changes to the Duties, which I'll come to next.

So the final part, part 4, is next, right? Well, no. There are now five parts overall. I'd initially thought part 4 would be shorter, but as I planned it, it became longer and longer. Splitting into two was the way to go, and it gave the Duties more natural homes and helped fix the dilemma of the Dilemmas. So the overall structure for the novel is now as follows:

  • Duty 3: Vigilance

  • Part 1: The Outage

  • Duty 4: Preparation

  • Part 2: The Election

  • Duty 5: Observation

  • Part 3: The Discovery

  • Duty 2: Intervention

  • Part 4: The Reunion

  • Duty 6: Resolution

  • Duty 1: Scouring

  • Part 5: The Judgement

  • Duty 7: Surveillance

Yes, that's two Duties between parts 4 and 5, and I've also numbered them now. And yes, those numbers are supposed to be out of order. I think it works, but I may have changed my mind before the next blog post.

So what are the plans for this new part 4? Well, it's short, with only three chapters expected:

That sets us up nicely for the finale in part 5, with added context given by the intervening Duties. Part 5 will likely have three chapters too, although there's a good chance it'll stretch into four when I get there. We'll see. My current expectations that the first draft will be around 95,000 words in total, although that may creep up. I'll be back to confirm part 5 plans once I've finished part 4. I'd better get on with it.

And yes, that's the final colour for the cover at the top, and I've reframed the image a little to give a better impact. There's one important thing missing on the cover that will change it completely, to give the impression of an alien perspective. You'll have to wait for the end of the first draft before you see that. You get something a little different next time.

bottom of page