I finished Part 1 of BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL this month! After one round of intense rewrites and two rounds of edits over the course of several months, I managed to reduce the original word count of the first eight chapters and two prologues from 61,541 words down to five chapters (and no prologues!) at 26,245 words, which means I have cut 35,296 words from the book so far. I still have Parts 2-5 to rewrite and edit, so with luck, the total word count will shrink more and more, until I reach a normal length of book that can’t also be used as a blunt weapon.
I have to say I’m very pleased with the result of all this work so far. It took roughly four drafts to get to this point (and only on the first part of the book), but the story is getting closer and closer to the book I imagined it would be when I first came up with the idea. It feels good to have roughly 20% of the book complete (though it will need to pass the scrutiny of beta readers eventually) as I move on to the next section of the book.
BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL: (+315) edits
Cartridges & Catacombs: 1470
Total Words Written Last Month: 2,553
Total Words Written in 2021: 71,662
Plans for This Month:
I don’t actually have any plans for this month. I’m making a concentrated effort to not actively work on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL this month, just because December tends to be a chaos month where I get nothing done anyway, and I do need time off on occasion, especially after such intense editing the latter half of this year. Taking the month off should help me gear up to work hard come January.
That said: I have been noodling some ideas that I may hash out in the meantime. I’m considering breaking into another genre/subgenre with slightly lighter fare, specifically romcoms and cozy mysteries, which may or may not feature speculative elements or settings. I don’t know if I can completely remove myself from fantasy, but I feel like these ideas have been spinning in the back of my mind for long enough that I ought to give an honest effort to make them happen.
I’ve also been noodling with ideas that play with form and format. I have an epistolary mystery (possibly murder, possibly aliens, possibly occult, idk) in mind that would be told across letters, bulletin notices, diary entries, newspaper articles, obituaries, and the like, that I’m really interested in trying out.
My current book is a monster to work on, so it would be nice to have something lighter to focus on when progress stalls on the main work. So that’s a possibility for this month.
I didn’t get to make as much progress on rewrites this month as I wanted as I was sick for the last two weeks. But progress is progress, so I won’t complain. I did run into a bit of a snag on one particular scene that I’m still trying to figure out, but I should get...
Writing: I’m really proud of the progress I made on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL in September. I finished rewriting Chapters 4-6, finishing up Part 1 of the rewrite. I then printed out those pages and have been going over them again to try to improve them further,...
Writing: I didn’t do a lot of work on BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL in August, between kiddo being out of school and husband on vacation (and the endless hours of video games we all played together), but I did finish revising a scene that’s been the most difficult to...
Writing: I finished Part 1 of BLOOD OF SALT, TEARS OF PEARL this month! After one round of intense rewrites and two rounds of edits over the course of several months, I managed to reduce the original word count of the first eight chapters and two prologues from 61,541...
Chroniker City #1
Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. But when Emmerich Goss—handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild—needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she’s been waiting for…
Chroniker City #1.5
Petra Wade’s older brother, Solomon, has always dreamed of being an actor. Instead, he works grueling shifts in the clockwork city’s boiler rooms to help support his large adopted family. When Le Theatre Mecanique holds an open call for their upcoming performance, he decides to audition, but the only role he is suitable to fill is that of the theater’s custodian…
Chroniker City #2
It has been six months since clockwork engineer Petra Wade destroyed an automaton designed for battle, narrowly escaping with her life. But her troubles are far from over. Her partner on the project, Emmerich Goss, has been sent away to France, and his father, Julian, is still determined that a war machine will be built. Forced to create a new device, Petra subtly sabotages the design in the hopes of delaying the war, but sabotage like this isn’t just risky: it’s treason. And with a soldier, Braith, assigned to watch her every move, it may not be long before Julian finds out what she’s done…
Brooke Johnson is an avid gamer, home baker, dabbling artist, tabletop roleplayer, amateur meadmaker, and published author. As the jack-of-all-trades bard of the family, she adventures through life with her fiercely bearded paladin of a husband, their rogue daughter, and four animal companions in the suburbs of Northwest Arkansas.