Work-in-Progress Update: “The Rose and Honey Soul” first draft is complete!

“The Rose and Honey Soul” is done!

A little over two-and-a-half years ago, I started work on a short story inspired by Dark Souls. It was a dark, baroque, and dense story about a an Asher adrift in a world drenched in eternal dark following her partner and lover’s disappearance. I wrote about 5,000 words, and loved the world and characters, but came to the realization that something wasn’t quite right.

I set it aside, as I often do with projects that aren’t working, and moved onto a few other things (like “On the Phone with Goblins,” my novelette about two geriatric wizards solving crime from their retirement hone, which is quite unlike “The Rose and Honey Soul,” and “The Dinosaur Graveyard,” which is short, bright, and hopeful.) Fast forward to June of this year when I opened up my work on “The Rose and Honey Soul” and realized very quickly what was wrong with the story as I’d been telling it: it wasn’t a short story.

So, I opened Scrivener, bounced around between outlining it as a novella and a novel (turns out, in the end, it fell right smack in the middle, natch), and quickly filled out all the holes and came out with a multi-chapter outline that not only seemed to work, but excited me in a way that the original draft hadn’t.

So, I got working.

And, now, a few months later, the first draft of “The Rose and Honey Soul” is complete at (an unwieldy and possibly unsellable) 45,778 words!


*falls over*

(I made an observation on Twitter regarding word count and a regular writing schedule that fellow writers might find interesting. Basically, the more regularly I write, the higher my daily word count. Try it.)

Here’s a quick and dirty blurb:

In a dangerous world drenched in darkness, “The Rose and Honey Soul” explores how far a person will go to find a missing loved one. The world of “The Rose and Honey Soul” is full of great fungal-powered generators, darkblades, Guilds, nightborne, dragon gods, and a city under siege. As she searches for answers about her lover’s disappearance, an Asher named Teoh will find answers that will change the world. Inspired by Dark Souls, “The Rose and Honey Soul” is a story about courage and perseverance, love, and making light when the night is darkest.

The next step here is to let things lie for several weeks. I need distance. So, in the meantime, “The Rose and Honey Soul” will be in the caring hands of a couple of trusted alpha readers, who will, hopefully, help me see the light and set me on the right path for revisions in early 2019.

Meanwhile, I’ll be working on…

Quick Hit: The Thousand Shattered Gods

Now that “The Rose and Honey Soul” is done, work begins in earnest on my novel, The Thousand Shattered Gods. I’m not quite at the point where I want to reveal new information about it, but you can learn a bit here in my last Work-in-Progress Update post. I’ve been outlining like crazy lately.

(If there’s one thing I’ve been learning lately, especially after reading Rachel Aaron’s 2k to 10k: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love, it’s that outlining is an important tool for me as a writer. It helps me keep momentum and my eyes on the goal. Of course, considering my original plan for “The Rose and Honey Soul” was a short story, then a novella that I’d estimated would clock in at 25,000 words, it’s clear I also like to explore and let the story lead me at times. Gotta find that balance.)

Previously, I wrote about 20k words, most of which is going to be rewritten from scratch, which is exciting and daunting all at once. If there’s one thing that completing “The Rose and Honey Soul” reminded me, it’s that I’m naturally a long-form writer, and feel a lot more comfortable working on novellas and novels (compared to short stories.) Can’t wait to dive back into this world.