I'm aiming for 20 chapters + epilogue. I'm in the midst of chapter 20 now, and have part of the epilogue written too. If Kevin can give me a little time to work this weekend, it's entirely reasonable that I will finish this draft this weekend -- which means I will have actually accomplished my goal of writing the book this summer. School starts on Monday.
Of course, it's not really done. I think this first draft is going to end up around 50,000 words, which is short even for a YA. I think the finished version will be closer to 70-80K; in the next draft, I plan to go through and add a lot more texture to the story. Lots more backstory and other incidents to illustrate character, let you understand what shaped these people and led them to make the choices they made. But I actually think the plot of the story, the bones of its structure, are pretty well set. I like it. I like it a lot. I hope my agent does too, and then a publisher, and then lots and lots and lots of readers. Eep.
I'm a little sick of calling it the YA fantasy novel, but I haven't settled on a title yet. New working title, The Lost Princess: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book I. What do you think? Would you pick that up? Originally it had a Tamil word for the title, either "Arasi" or "Rasathi" (queen / princess), but I don't know whether those would just seem obscure. Of course, there was "Eragon," but on the other hand, that book had a big old dragon on the cover. Opinions?
Update: My friend from high school, Katy Everett, is a schoolteacher, and pointed out that her boys wouldn't be caught dead reading a book with princess in the title. Oops. Okay, so that has to go, because there are two great viewpoint guys in this book, and I definitely want boys to read it. Some other possibilities that are reasonably resonant / appropriate for the book:
- Arasi: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book One
- Rasathi: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book One
- The Lost Ones: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book One
- Powers: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book One
- The Thousand-Year War: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book One
- Flame and Shadow: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book One
- Palace on the Mountain: The Mahdava Trilogy, Book One