Drafting a book is like traveling a twisty, turny road. Here are some recent glimpses into my work on Song of the Raven, my new verse novel manuscript:
- I don’t usually like to keep word count records. I’m a pretty slow drafter, and my daily numbers can be a bit demoralizing. Rather, I like to keep track of my hours of work (something I can control).
- Guess what? I’m keeping a running record of my daily word counts. Why? Who knows! But for now it’s generally working, so I’m not going to question it.
- In early December I went on my annual writing retreat. The first day I wrote 1012 words. The second I wrote 242. The third I wrote 1077. Why so few words the second day? Who knows!
- A few weeks ago, one of my writing sessions centered on finding a new raven sound my birds could use as an exclamation. So far, my ravens Kek! Kek! Kek! when defending their territory, Kra! when they are afraid, Kro when they are affectionate, and Caw! Caw! when they are announcing themselves. Caw! of course is tricky, because it’s a sound usually associated with crows. But digging back into my notes, some researchers have used it as one of many ways to express raven calls, too (though ravens’ caws are deeper and croakier). Ravens have numerous vocalizations which can change meaning depending on the context. They also have different dialects (for lack of a better term — so interesting!). After scouring my notes again, I decided Crruck! will be my ravens’ exclamation.
- By the way, ravens and ravens is the way my protagonist, Tumbledown, refers to a large group of ravens. Corvids (birds in the crow family) are able to count and might understand the concept of zero. But for big groups of birds — bigger than numbers a raven can define — ravens and ravens will have to do for Tumbledown.
- We’re in the middle of packing up and moving to a one-story home. In the midst of the hustle, my ravens have been a respite and joy. Book World is always my favorite place.