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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

another chapter bites the alkali

The sun has come out: a lovely spring day.

Morning notes: True Believer and History of the Jews in Babylonia.

Writing session: After refamiliarizing myself with the scene I was in, I quickly wrote 4 pages and finished chapter 15-16. It's 37 pages, 8800 words. I entered these amounts in my workbook for the novel. Projected word total: 337,000. But I am now 34% of the way through the draft; I've cracked the 1/3 mark. Technically, I'm now in the middle of the draft. I felt great.

Since it was still early I opened up the Notes document for chapter 17 and typed a few thoughts to start the process of getting the next chapter ready. But the chapter-ending euphoria pulled me away: I feel like I deserve to celebrate the finishing of a chapter by kicking back a bit. Up for my lunch of leftover mashed potatoes and green beans, and later, out in the sun to do errands.

In the mail today a treat: I received my copy of Alexander the Great by Robin Lane Fox that I'd ordered from a bookstore in Utah. I opened it, wiped down the cover of the Penguin paperback with a damp cloth, and recorded it in my Book Inventory. Over tea I started reading it. The lavish praise by the reviewers on Amazon.com was justified: Fox can really write. Already he has created a lush sense of the time, customs, and relationships surrounding the mysterious murder of Alexander's father Philip. I really enjoy reading good writing when I myself am working at writing something. This book will fill that role admirably.

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