Keeping Score: Early May

For those keeping score at home…

Although my writing never goes as smoothly or as quickly as I think it should, I’m fairly content with progress so far.

Current Total Word Count:  8200


  • Prologue modified to match Chapter 1 (current draft).
  • First cut of Chapter 1 is approximately 2/3 complete.

Current Hero Count: 3 (2 from Orchids Ablaze, 1 new)

Current Villain Count (story only): 2 (plus minions)

Battle Diagrams Completed: 1

Location Maps Completed: 1

Now that I’m getting into the meat of the story, my gross-to-net word production is sitting around 3-to-1. Not as good as I had hoped for, but probably a realistic estimate for the rest of the first draft. Unlike the first book, I’m not aiming at specific words counts for the chapters or the book as a whole. That makes things both easier and more difficult. I can include more description and link thoughts and images together more easily, but I do lose some focus on perfectly pruning the prose. Or as close as I’m going to get!


I’m pulling descriptions and other details out of Orchids Ablaze to re-use, but they’ll have to be modified to fit. For the benefit of readers of Orchids Ablaze, I don’t want to simply copy descriptive material over. For those that haven’t read it, however, I need to include descriptions that can lock the characters in their minds. Finding consistent phrases and how to drop details in is more straightforward now that my library of specific character attributes is filling out. With recurring characters, the challenge is always keeping them vibrant and interesting for readers of the entire series.

Next Steps

The characters are already making their opinions known. I have no doubt they’ll continue to critique how they are depicted and elect to act throughout the book. It’s nice to find out that they are vested in getting the story right.


Written by D. D. Wolf

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I'm on my 5th or 6th career depending on how you count them, but ideally this one will be my last with the kind help of our readers. I've traveled to several states across the U.S., but the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina will always be where I'm most comfortable. I've been an avid reader of comics for more years than I'm going to mention, but I return time after time to the old pulps. Obviously the Doc Savage books have been a tremendous influence. There's just something about seeing and hearing those characters in your mind's eye, just the way YOU, as the reader, think they should be.. I've been writing poems, lyrics and stories of varying quality since I was in my teens, which means most of my archives are on paper in three-ring binders! I've been creating characters in various RPG systems for at least that long. I've always thought characters made the story: good characters can live on through story after story. It wasn't until the last 6 or 7 years that I felt I could write characters well enough to be engaging. You'll have to let me know how I'm doing.

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