Update — Cadoc's Contract

A troublesome story blows out in size but at last I've finished the first draft. I give up pantsing for good and pledge to give this story away to my subscribers.

Update 15/02/2019: I renamed the book to Cadoc's Contract after the protagonist, Cadoc of Glyntaf's Line. As of February 2019, I'm getting very close to publishing it. You can read more about it here.

Original post

Well, I suck. I’ve finally finished writing the first draft of the The Bwgal’s Contract but what was originally intended to be a 7500-word short story I planned on submitting to Aurealis Magazine has ballooned into a 19k novella about a guy I killed off in The Weaver’s Boy. Believe me, I’ve learnt my lesson and it will be the last time I write a story by the seat of my pants with zero planning. It will likely blow out to 25k when I revise the draft because I want to flesh out a few scenes and shuffle the structure a little.

At that kind of length, it’s too big to submit anywhere so I’ll now rework it into the Lords of Skeinhold series and it will become book zero, or a prelude to use the correct terminology. The story and characters fit this purpose well because it tells the story of how Cadoc became the Lord of Skeinhold and ended up raising his brother’s children, who also feature in the The Weaver’s Boy.

Given the story’s no longer fit for its original purpose, I’ve decided to give it away to my newsletter subscribers. That’s still a few months off. I’ll shelve the draft for the necessary 4-6 weeks it takes to create some space, then I’ll revise it into a second and third draft before sending it to my editor, who takes about a month to edit a story of this size.

So, realistically, I’m looking at a November launch — plenty of time if you’d like to subscribe and secure your free copy when it’s published.



Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

I was curious to see what you meant by no more pantsing. I'm an extreme plotter myself, but I thought that where one is on the pantser/plotter spectrum was decided before birth. Ie, hardwired into the brain.

I couldn't pants my way out of a paper bag. Structure keeps taking over and nagging. Once the structure is solid, the process of how it happens is lots of fun, and often a huge surprise, but very little of it gets wasted - because of that skeleton in my mental closet.

Happy plotting. If indeed you make the change. I dunno...


Chris Rosser

Hi Alicia,

Thanks for the comment.

Plotting and Pantsing in my experience is a broad spectrum and we're all on it somewhere. Very few people I think are hard-wired on one end of the other.

I've tried both ends and approaches in the middle. I learnt a value lesson writing Cadoc's Contract and that's I don't have the time to stuff around following a wayward muse. I work best with some idea of what I want to write, but I still like the opportunity to discover things along the way.

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