Hwaet! A finished first draft.

Huzzah, and other, more period-appropriate, exclamations. The first draft of The Pilgrims’ Tale is complete at 87,890 words. It opens with a scene a little bit like this:

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only without the anachronisms and arrows, and carries on being less about war and more about music and gender-role confusion than is usual with me. It’s probably the gentlest thing I’ve done so far (if you don’t count the way my heroes meet up the second and third time, or the fate of the best friend, or the inability of Leofgar’s lord to understand the word ‘no.’) That’s either because I’m feeling old and tired at the moment, or it’s because I wanted to show Saxon society when it was working, not when it was either falling apart under threat of invasion or gearing itself up to fight.

This is probably all wrong from a tension and drama POV, but my heroes are a professional musician/entertainer and a reluctant berserker. The gleeman would be in trouble in the middle of a war zone, and the berserker would have more pressing matters to attend to than to fall in love. Hence, peace.

I should really celebrate by going out somewhere nice – except that the car has broken down. Or by having a nice relaxing bath – except that a water main burst nearby last night and we still have no water in the house. Tomorrow then 🙂

I wrote 52,296 words of this since the girls went back to school on the 6th of January by making sure that I wrote at least 1000 words every week day. In practice I think I averaged about 1800 a day, with some sick days. Which is not quite as impressive as NaNoWriMo, (where I also only write on weekdays, and therefore need to write about 2,400 words a day) but is a lot more sustainable.

Now I think I will write that story about Loki versus the giant chicken, then do the first draft of a short novella, and thus give myself the time and space I need apart from this to come back to the second draft fresh.

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