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The first draft of Tempus Regina is now officially, unofficially, and every other type of finished.
I have been writing this novel for about nine months, not taking into account the 14,000 words written before I began NaNo last year. Nine months. It seems like a week compared to the laborious year and a half spent on the two novels of the Sea Fever series. Joy commented on Facebook that it feels like I only announced the story's beginning yesterday - which for Scribbles' readers is more nearly true, since I was late in mentioning it. It appears that since then I've talked about and around it a good deal, but not having posted many snippets, it feels somehow more private than The White Sail's Shaking. That may, however, just be Me.
At any rate, as I contemplated which question from the Curiosity series to answer this week, I thought I would go ahead and do Joy's on Christianity in Tempus Regina. But that demands a great deal of organization and care and thinking, and at any rate, it didn't seem to be an appropriate way of announcing the first draft's completion. Instead, I decided to take up Bree's questions and trace Tempus Regina's evolution from that date in - what was it? September? - when I put down the first words of the first chapter, to this past Saturday when I put down the last words of the last chapter.
what originally inspired Tempus Regina?
is the current TR anything like what the original was to be?
was it one of those books that other younger works...sort of worked up to, or does it stand on its own?
What inspired Tempus Regina? Well! That is the question, and I'm not positive of the answer. I've mentioned before that Jenny began a story many years ago about lost kingdoms that sparked my imagination - and annoyance, because she never did finish it. I don't think that consciously affected me, but I'm sure it did underneath the surface. As far as a clear knowledge of Tempus Regina's origins goes, I am fairly certain that the title came to me first of all, and then maybe pocket watches, and after that I had to fit together many disjointed pieces like a jigsaw puzzle.
Like The White Sail's Shaking, Tempus Regina is very much its own story. I can't remember writing even a slightly similar idea years ago; I typically don't write anything down unless I am set on spinning it into a proper novel. Wordcrafter is the only one, as far as I can recall, that departed from this norm (which it seems to have done a great deal): Justin and Ethan were characters whose origins go back long before the day I jotted down a scene for Wordcrafter on a church bulletin. Regina and the Assassin, the White Demon and the Fisherman and Morgaine, were much more spontaneous, as it were. Only the Time King might have ties to a character from a story that never got off the ground, but even then, I'm not sure how conscious I was of the relationship.
In point of fact, so much of this story developed during the actual writing process that it is difficult now to remember what I had in mind at the start; that is probably a common feeling. However, I do know that the finished draft has a more marked similarity to the original than the Sea Fever books did when I put the last touches on them. Certain parts of the book were very clear in my mind: the very first chapter (despite beginnings being absolutely loathsome); the end; and elements of the climax. For the most part, though, a mere comparison of the excerpt posted way back when and this draft's version will show the evolution this novel has undergone.
"Evolution" is, actually, perhaps the best term for it. It has gotten bigger and bigger, and complicated and more complicated, until I feel as though I can hardly keep the threads from flying out of my hands and the whole tapestry from going kaput on the floor. Beginning early on in the writing there have been occasional flashes of despairing horror at the size of this thing. Not that the book itself is terrifically huge: a mere 177,000 words, sure to be trimmed in the editing. But, confound it, time travel is complex!
do you set daily writing goals for yourself, or do you just write, write, write, until you feel sufficiently expended?
I have this vague idea that I used to write a lot more in a sitting than I do now. I'm pretty sure 2,000 was once a good day for me. Now 1,000 is a splendid day, and 2,000 is out of this world. I am, comparatively speaking, a slow writer, and since I get headaches and achy wrists if I push myself too hard, I don't tend to set hard and fast goals. Except during NaNo. But that's another beast entirely.
Nowadays, I tend to shoot for a page or so when I sit down to write. The way my documents are formatted, two pages is roughly 1,000 words - and getting there can take an entire (interrupted) morning. I do this only rarely, but I can sit down for an hour or so nearly every day and write, which is much more than many people manage in their busy schedules. Also, since I write each chapter individually (unless they go together so intimately that splitting them into separate documents breaks my train of thought), I have a half-formed goal of finishing one every week - or every other week.
So you see, my goals aren't terribly coherent. But one way or another, I do seem to get the thing done!