It would seem that even our intrepid anti-heroes aren't immune to the superstitious portent of doom. All is not lost, however, as with the release of chapter 13, we see Thorn pass a huge milestone: 100,000 words.
Most of them are actually pretty good ones, in my estimation.
To put it in perspective, that's longer than To Kill a Mockingbird, The Hobbit, or Cormac McCarthy's phenomenal All the Pretty Horses.
Lest I make it sound like we're at the end, however, fear not--we've still a ways to go yet. That said, and without further ado, I am very, very proud to present chapter 13 of Thorn.
(All of the chapter PDFs to date have been updated from A4 to digest format for easier reading--not sure why this one didn't occur to me much sooner.)
I think there's very little I can say about chapter 14, aside from the fact that it was extraordinarily difficult to write, and I can only hope I've done it justice.
To be honest, I've been worrying about it since I'd sent it off to be copy-edited, as I'd spent an entire week just working on rewrites and polishing. By last Friday all I saw was WORDSWORDSWORDSWORDSWORDS--about 8,000 of them, and all seemingly intractable.
However, it's come back into my hands today, and after a few minor fixes, is pretty excellent--at least, I sure hope so, seeing as it's a somewhat important chapter, to put it laughably mildly.
First, let me send out a huge word of thanks to everyone who voted for Thorn in GW2Guru’s ‘Biggest GW2 Fan’ contest–you guys really are the best, and the news was one hell of a nice way to start my day.
I’d also like to thank the writers and world-builders over at ArenaNet for giving my dormant imagination a jolt, as well as a great theme park to let these characters run around (or amok, in certain cases) in.
Always one for irony, however, I have a pretty huge announcement regarding Thorn today.
First, let me assure the readers out there that Thorn will be finished as a GW2 novel–no corners will be cut, there will be no sudden decrease in writing quality (no intentional one, anyway), and I certainly won’t abandon the project at this point.
Once Thorn is finished, however, it will be going through substantial rewrites to become a work of original fiction, which will probably be long enough–with all the extra world-building–to become not one, but two books, and I have plans for more story even after that.
Upon completion of the first manuscript, I’ll be looking for a literary agent to get Mozu and Cordelia and Linebaugh’s (and Olcán’s) story, or stories, published.
Not to take anything away from what’s been written, or from GW2, or from the readers who have come back chapter after chapter, and sent tons of notes, forum posts, or PMs, but sometime over the holidays, I realized Thorn was really, really damned good, and deserved a better fate than lingering on the blog as a mostly unknown work of fan-fiction, so...that’s the plan, in a nutshell.
I like the sound of that.
(P.S. – I suggested Fifty Shades of Blueberry as a working title, but was immediately shot down.)
Chapter 15 feels a bit special--partly because of the reception that Thorn has received as of late, not to mention the ridiculous priase heaped upon it from my editor, as well as a gut feeling that a lot of what I've been striving to do with my writing since somewhere around chapters 5 or 6 really clicked and came together this time 'round.
There's also an exhiliration at seeing in the end in sight now, at least from my vantage point. We've four, maybe five chapters remaining, and needless to say, I'm very, very excited about the prospect of bringing Thorn to its conclusion in the next couple of months before the real work begins.
Things are moving quickly now in these final few chapters of Thorn, but even with the ending looming in sight, it’s still fun to point out the milestones along the way.
With the release of chapter 16, Thorn has now passed the 125,000-word mark, and stands one page from a hefty 400. I think it’s pretty safe to say we’ll be well past 450 by the time you read the last few words of the epilogue sometime in the next month or so.
Chapter 16 was a surprisingly easy write--even the final scene, which I’d been imagining and re-imagining for months now in various forms and settings--although quite a lot of time was spent in the rewrite and polishing phase, bringing it up to the standard I feel was set by chapter 15.
While I was looking forward to a few days mental rest, I think my excitement at getting started on 17 will probably win out in the end, and even during my “night off” last night, I spent about an hour making some fairly extensive notes.
Not much else to say aside from the usual: I’m very proud to present the next installment of Thorn. Here’s chapter 16.
Last edited by Bearzu Smash; 03-04-2013 at 04:33 PM.
How strange to be posting the penultimate chapter, and how strange to see ten months of work coming to an end of sorts. I'd be feeling pretty maudlin right now if this wasn't really more of a beginning than anything.
Chapter 18 is probably my favorite to date, and it all came together with surprising ease. I'll admit, I had more than a little trepidation at the prospect of finding myself at this point--needing to wrap things up--but once I'd started, the words just came.
I'm still getting a kick out of the milestones, I'll admit as well, and chapter 18 finds Thorn blowing past the 450 page mark--and I have no doubt that when all is said and done, we'll have passed the 150,000 word mark as well.
For now, though, please enjoy chapter 18, or as Linebaugh so aptly puts it, the calm before the storm. See you in a couple of weeks with the final chapter.
Here we are after ten months, bringing Mozu and Cordelia and Linebaugh and Olcán’s story to a close. 19 chapters, 504 pages, 157,259 words.
I’m not even entirely sure of what to say at this point, but I’ll have a go at something, so bear with me. After those ten months of work I think I’ve earned a bit of a ramble.
I started this project, as I’ve said, to get back to doing a little writing after a decade-long hiatus, but the project and the characters quickly took on a life of their own, and even as I was finishing up chapter one, I started to realize this would be a much larger project than I’d imagined. Still—nothing close to the more than 500 pages we’ve ended up with.
Sure, I grimace at a lot of the writing in the earlier chapters, but at the same time, it’s pretty entertaining to go back and see the progress I’ve made as a writer over the better part of a year--progress I’ll continue to make going forward as I try and turn this hobby into something vaguely resembling a career.
Writing has allowed me to do something that music never could for all the years I poured into it—to create something I can stand back from and take an objective look at and still be truly proud of, and to create something that’s touched other people’s lives as well.
It’s been an amazing, exhausting experience . . . but it’s only just begun. For quite some time, and then in earnest shortly before the New Year, I started to realize that this project--or rather, these characters and the continuing stories of their lives and adventures--needed a venue unfettered by someone else’s lore, and I began to plan.
So, while I say “here we are”, what I really mean is, “enjoy this for a bit—when you see Mozu and Cordelia and Linebaugh next, they’ll be on a grander stage,” and there’s plenty more to be told beyond the story of Thorn.
Honestly, as tired as I am and worn out by the whole thing, I absolutely cannot wait to get started again. I’m looking forward to watching this, their first story, expand and evolve and flesh itself out even more, what with a whole new world to run rampant in, and I fully expect that Thorn will end up as two books instead of one with--as I’ve said--plenty more to follow.