I’m 26,000 words into this now, which puts me at Chapter 9. (My books typically end around Chapter 20, give or take a couple of chapters.) So that gives you an idea of how far along I am. Pacing is nice and steady, and things are finally rolling along after my dry spell.
I went into this book not knowing if Algernon, the hero, was merely being superstitious about bad luck or if there was a rational reason for the curse that makes him believe he’ll die on his 25th birthday. At first, I suspected that a certain character was behind the “curse”. I thought perhaps a character was intentionally scaring Algernon. By now, I know this character isn’t the culprit. This character is Algernon’s friend. But this leaves me with a piece of the puzzle I have yet to figure out. Someone is behind all of this. I don’t know who it is. I need to keep writing to find out.
What I do know is that Charles Duff (the hero in A Perilous Marriage who was also the overreacting brother in Kidnapping the Viscount) will pin the blame on the wrong person. Charles’ instincts about people tend to be wrong. He’s well meaning, but he doesn’t know what to look for. He tends to act first and think later. This hasn’t changed after A Perilous Marriage, though one might think so since he was so wrong about Eris being a killer AND he was wrong about Gill (Lord Powell) being forced to be Heather’s captive. But he hasn’t learned his lesson. When I think of how often Charles is wrong, it actually makes me laugh. (I have a weird sense of humor.) But Charles means well. He’s just not was good as figuring things out as he thinks he is.
Fortunately, there is a character I introduced in A Perilous Marriage who is good at piecing things together. That is Eris’ brother, Byron, who is a Runner. I’m going to end up needing Byron to get to the bottom of what is going on with Algernon.
This is what makes writing by the seat of my pants so much fun. I don’t know certain things until I’m able to work through a particular character. I’m sure the plotters out there don’t get why I don’t know what is going to happen or how I need a certain character to put the pieces together, but it’s how my brain works. I’ve been working this way ever since I was a teenager, and so far, it’s worked out every time. If I were to tell the characters what to do, it wouldn’t work. I need them to tell me what to do. (Yeah, I realize I’m actually the one writing, but some things are done on a subconscious level which is why I can’t plot this stuff out.)