One step back, two steps forward

Wrote 1,000 words on the Orchard yesterday, which was an improvement in quantity but not in quality. Upon heavy reflection, I decided that the work was structurally unsound, ripped it out, and recast the scene. (Thanks to my alpha readers, Sarah and Wendy, for insights that sped the fix along.) Today I put in 2,000 words, replacing yesterday’s output and getting a little further on with the story. We are now at a chapter break, with a Reveal, to wit: How Greyhand got his name.

I had been hoping that each episode of the Orchard would run about 15,000, but this first one seems certain to be over length. I am just over 12,000 words in (before cutting), and barely halfway through the outline. Looks like the series will begin with an extra-length episode, however much I slice it.


  1. Series often have longer starts – the pilot episode.

    As long as everything you put in is strictly needed by the reader NOW, you’re okay with the priming of the pump.

    Give them stuff you could have brought in later, when motivation makes more sense, and you risk losing readers like me.

    YOur call – but it won’t be that unusual.

  2. Antiwords are also progress, though it does make it tricky to measure it.

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