This is about a day behind schedule, but I am finished the second draft of my Author Quest submission. The second draft came in at 7,855 words, about 350 words longer than the finished first draft. I’m really happy with that word count, as I was able to completely remove the chunk I wrote to finish off the first draft; that chunk was written in a writing sprint and wasn’t something I initially wanted to include, so I’m glad I could remove it without worrying about the word length.
I spent a lot of time in this draft fixing characters and dialogue. I took a couple of days to work on some of my characters, particularly the Gelfling, in order to make sure their characters were consistent. One in particular, named Keefe, seemed to be one thing and then went and did something that seemed very out of character, so I spent a lot of time smoothing that out. I also had the Skeksis Emperor do something similar, so I worked really hard to fix that, too.
I also started working on the setting and descriptions. The one place that I had a lot of trouble visualizing was the Skeksis laboratory. So I sat down and sketched it out while watching Dark Crystal scenes on Youtube. In the end, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on the layout. I also made a real point of trying to fix up descriptions of people and places. I’m sure what I’ve got now will still need some work, but I think it’s a good start.
I ran into a couple of snags while I was working on this draft. The first one was when I started debating about whether or not to keep a chunk of my story. I liked what had been written, but it’s possible the story would be better without it. In the end, a friend advised me to keep it for now, as I can always fix it later if I need to.
The second snag was when I wrote about a character panicking. That got me thinking about whether or not the creatures of Thra (Gelfling in particular) have hearts and lungs. I spent most of an evening trying to research that, but couldn’t come to any conclusions one way or the other. If anyone knows the answer to this question, I would appreciate it if you could let me know either here or on Twitter. If no one replies (and I can’t find the answer on my own), I’m going to have to assume that they do for the purposes of my story.
So the contest is over on the 31st of December. I have just under a month now to fix up my submission. With that in mind, I’m planning on letting a few people read it so I can get some feedback to help with the edits.