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Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!

I added 3,000 words to the new chapter three of Vivian’s Last Cigarette and almost finished it this weekend. Although I estimate I’ll only need another 300 words to wrap it up, I simply ran out of steam after a long day of writing Sunday.

All I need to do is tie down a few loose ends adrift as the chapter closes and set-up the next chapter. The next bit will involve meeting a gnome, playing video games, lots and lots of angry skinheads… and pizza.

It’s going to be fun. I’m eager to write it. :-)

The major point getting highlighted as I close chapter three is that Gronk has earned Viv’s trust. I feel that this has been illustrated quite well as they’ve worked together to at first hide from, and then escape, some very deadly peril in the mill for chapters two and three.

Now that they’re out of the mill, chapter four and five will be about their growing friendship as they overcome additional challenges and meet some more characters. The tone will be different as they interact with others. The last pair of chapters have been seen Viv and Gronk almost totally on their own, which I think in hindsight is great way to cement them as characters and protagonists early on. Now the reader will get to see more of how society views “changelings”, and orcs in particular.

I’ll certainly finish chapter three next weekend, if not before. I’m unsure of how far I’ll get into chapter four, however. I need to get my taxes done, and that’ll be a disruption at least for one of my weekend days.

On the beta reading front, Lauren has gotten back to me with complete notes for the new chapter two. She said it was fun… and if she liked that, then I think she’ll get a real kick out of chapter three. :-) Jess also provided feedback on the second drafts of chapters ten through thirteen so far this week, so there’s some good movement there too!

Almost finishing the new chapter has me assessing how far I’ve come with the changes so far. I’ve written over 11,000 words of new material since starting the revisions and additions to the book almost a month ago. That brings the novel’s current word-count total to something over 82,000.

As I’m halfway done with the additions, I think it’s fair to speculate that a final tally will be over 90,000 and under 100k… and that’s a good sweet-spot word-count for Vivian’s to land in.

The novel will likely be considered New Adult cusping on Young Adult as far as that broad genre is conserved. Like a lot of New or Young Adult fiction, Vivian’s is a multi-genre story. As a coming-of-age love story, it’s got the romance and drama that’s typical of NA/YA fiction. It’s also got liberal doses of humor, and several chapters where exiting physical action is key, so there is that as well. Then I go and top all of that off with a retro 1980s semi-urban fantasy setting. ;-)

The strongest two genres of the book –or at least the two that I’ve settled on as the most effective to pitch the novel with– are New Adult and (urban) Fantasy. A romance element is often a given with NA, so that gives me the added bonus of hinting at the love story within.

I’ll admit that Vivian’s isn’t typical of Urban Fantasy in the way that its setting is constructed. And I have my doubts that a mill-town in southern Maine is all that “urban”. However, it’s definitely a fantasy story and even plays with classic epic fantasy staples like orcs, elves and more. Being set in an alternate 1989 certainly makes it more “modern” than your typical medieval-ish fantasy settings like The Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones in the public imagination. Therefore, I think “Urban Fantasy” is the best moniker to use because it evokes initial imagery that is the closest to what I have and what I am creating with the story.

Nearly all of those genres overlap with 90-100k being a competitive word-count size for a first novel, so I’m excited to be hitting that range. I think it bodes well for my book. :-)

Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!

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