Today I wrote “The End” on Elfshot! Elfshot is now completed in its first draft. And imagine that, you get a sneak peek at the ending, even though it doesn’t spoil anything in the story, so you can rest easy and look at it. (Okay, there’s a minor spoiler in it, but I won’t let on because that would, like…spoil the story.)
It sits at a comfortable 54,725 words. That will change with edits.
Anyway, my plan is for Elfshot to go live in early October. (The October 14th listing on Amazon gives me a couple of weeks of slippage in case life gets in the way…)
After several days of worrying about how the climax would happen, I got it written! Yay! I’m now just writing the wrap-up chapter and then it will be ready for my beta readers. Elfshot word count is 53,665. Which is awesome.
One thing that is always fun is learning about my characters as I write. I’ve introduced a few more characters than I had in Alchemist Rules that are likely to become a more permanent addition to the Cast of Characters. So far, the supporting characters in the series I have include:
Elryn, Light Elf Warrior
Li’alla, Dark Elf Warrior
Nana, Dark Elf Matriarch
Fluffy, Vicious Chicken
Sabine, Ironspell’s Mom
Johann Henrik, Ghost
Spaz, Werewolf Hacker
Tobias St. Claire, Vampire
Duncan, Idaho Springs Police Officer
Alaric, Alpha of the Denver Wolf Pack
Frank Winter, DWTF Wizard
Thinking About My Cast of Characters
I have other characters, but those are the ones off the top of my head. Every character, both major and minor, are unique in some fashion. It’s incredibly important, given the large cast of characters. I have to really think how to differentiate between those our hero is constantly dealing with on a day-to-day basis. They all can’t act the same or talk the same, so I have to keep that in mind when dealing with them.
Why So Many?
After looking at the list of those supporting, major, and minor characters I need to keep on hand, I gasp at the number. But then, I realize that like us, Ironspell knows a lot of people due to the nature of his work as a cop. Also, I remind myself that few people are actually hermits. We all meet plenty of people in our day-to-day lives. So, why shouldn’t Ironspell? The fun part is making them realistic and quirky.
With that, I leave you with my current word count for Elfshot: 47,122 words. Getting close to the end. Still have to write the big fight scene.
The chamber looked like it had once been a guest hall or something that housed a lot of people or things. Columns flanked its sides that led into smaller alcoves which housed statues of what I guessed were famous Dark Elves. Above them, the ceiling stretched for at least three stories in a type of dome that had no opening to the outside and yet shown with a luminescent glow that lit all the way down to the floor. We could see across the great expanse toward the single door guarded by two of Vindar’s soldiers. The Ignore Me spell seemed to work as their eyes passed by us without noticing the two apparent Drow soldiers and a demon on the other side of the hall.
Painted murals extended from floor to ceiling, worn over time by dust, heat, and earthquakes. They depicted scenes I didn’t recognize. Above us looked like the Norse god Freyr handing something to what I suspected was a Dark Elven king. The god was amazingly beautiful with long blond hair and a blond beard—even to a heterosexual man such as myself—he was attractive in a manly sort of way. A large golden boar stood before him and the Dark Elf king had one hand on its flank as if giving the boar to the god. Another god with red hair like fire and beardless, presumably Loki, was standing next to the Dark Elf king.
I had seen paintings of the gods before, mostly done in sort of Romanesque-type images, but this was not in that style. They appeared life-like and in clothing that the Northern tribes would’ve worn given the period of the design. My gaze shifted lower to the images of a battle. Dark Elves and Light Elves battling each other. The king of the Dark Elves stood in the center, fighting what appeared to be the Light Elven king. Another mural depicted Dark Elves breaking their chains with hammers. And yet another one showed a battle with newer armor and Dwarves attacking the Dark Elves. I turned and saw yet another mural showing two worlds, both lush and green, colliding in a terrible cataclysm. A chunk of one world spiraled off into space, while the two suns were caught together in a slow dance of death.
Yes, yes, I’ve been behind on posting word counts for Elfshot. So sue me. Elfshot is now at 35,030 words. Oh, and I decided to give you a sneak peek into what I wrote today:
Li’alla sat beside me. “Humans began to hate the Fae and blame us for all their maladies. While it’s true the Elves had Elfshot, most didn’t use it because the world was so volatile. The blue sickness had taken a huge portion of medieval Europe’s population and humans blamed us for it. They said we were in league with the Christian devil and called us demons.” She shook her head. “I remember those times. They were frightening.”
I took a sharp inward breath. The blue sickness was the name people called the Black Death during medieval times. “You were alive during the Black Death?”
She smiled sadly. “Yes, and I remember when my human friends died of it, refusing to take the medicine I brought because the parish priest told them it was poison and I was an agent of Satan.”
We both fell silent and I stared wistfully at the stars, wishing I was anywhere but here. I thought about Luna and how much I missed her cheerful smile. I thought about Elwyn and Duncan and hoped to the gods they were okay. Unlike the plague from medieval times, this plague would be Elfshot and it would kill not only humans but Light Elves as well. I turned to her. “Why do Light Elves hate your kind so much?”
If you know me, you know that I share a home with a bunch of critters. Right now, I have just three dogs, one cat, and a goat inside the house. Yes, a goat. I do have multiple goats, but I’ll tell you that story after the word count.
Word Count for Elfshot
First, before I forget, the word count for Elfshot is at 31,003 words out of a possible 60K. That means I’m past my halfway point, and I am certainly allowed to finish the book at 50K+. So, that’s the book word count.
Why There is a Goat in my House
I have goats. Due to our constant bad luck with kids (40 to 50 percent death rate), we’ve decided to switch to fiber goats and get the “wool” (called “fiber”) to process and eventually make yard out of. This is cool because I get to keep goats but not have to breed the doe goats every fall.
How the Cashmere Goats Started
I started with two cashmere goats. The buck we named Merlin and the doe was already named Sapphira. Sapphira is 1/2 cashmere and Merlin is pure cashmere. We have three does and two wethers (neutered bucks) who have come out of Merlin and my milk does. Sapphira didn’t get bred for some reason while the other does had kids. So, I assumed Sapphira wasn’t able to conceive.
Wrong, Really Wrong
I was wrong about Sapphira. About three to five days before Memorial Day, I noticed Sapphira’s udders filling up. Merlin was all over her, due to the hormones. The other goats were restless. I moved her to the kidding pen and on Memorial Day, she gave birth to a little buckling. It was a tough labor, so I was glad I was there. We named him Moose and while our intent was to leave Moose with Sapphira, the first thing she did was roll on top of him while she was lying down. I tried moving him again. Again, she accidentally squished him. So, Moose has been in my house since Memorial Day.
How Long Moose Will Be Inside
So, I’m a goat parent. Moose is still on bottled milk because even though he’s bigger, Sapphira won’t remember him. And he won’t remember her. So, once we get a pen set up for him, he can start getting used to all the critters at the barn, including the horse, chickens, and geese. He won’t go full time in the barn until he’s had at least a week in there.
That’s been my life, along with writing. How’s yours?