Work In Progress: 5.06

The Larkspur Legacy

The title of this catch-up post is misleading, because I have been working on ‘The Larkspur Legacy’ for more than six weeks, and it’s not my 5th book. It is the 5th book since I started the work-in-progress blog, though, and it is my 6th post about it. So, here’s where I am with the last in the Larkspur series, ‘The Larkspur Legacy.’

Word Count

After finishing yesterday’s draft chapter, I found myself at 105,000 words. I also found myself standing on my balcony with Neil, telling him that, in my estimation, I had at least another ten chapters to write before the first draft story was out of my head. With an average chapter count of 3,000 to 4,000 words, that will take the total word count to around 150,000 words. That is the same length as ‘The Clearwater Inheritance,’ so I am happy with that. I like to give my readers a good, long and rewarding read for the last book of a series. However, my estimate doesn’t include a story that has an effect on the main story, and I’m not sure if I will be able to get that one in. If I don’t, then it will appear in ‘The Clearwater Companion’, the companion to the Clearwater and Larkspur series I am planning to compile once ‘Legacy’ is published.

Notes and books, notes and books…

What’s the Story?

If you have read ‘Starting with Secrets’, you will know that the Clearwater crew are on a mission to solve four clues in a treasure hunt that will, ultimately, unlock a great secret and offer Clearwater and his men a great reward. ‘The Larkspur Legacy’ is all about completing that hunt, but it is also about other things. There are personal stories to settle, there are villains to defeat (or not), there’s a new love story running through one of the four threads of the book, and there will be a twist that I hope no-one will see coming. Eek!

As there are four clues, so there are four stories within the book, although all are related by the overall aim of discovering the secret. This is why you will find several characters travelling to the Mediterranean, a couple travelling to Greece, a couple to another part of Europe, and some staying at Larkspur to deal with the annoyingly persistent villains set up in ‘Starting with Secrets.’ One of those threads is the one I may have to miss out on because of story length, but what happens during that small adventure isn’t as important as what’s found at the end of it, and the action can happen off-stage; as long as the answer comes back to Larkspur, where some of your favourite characters are gathering information while seeking the perfect way to be rid of the various villains. (There are four from previous books, plus a couple of new ones working for them.) Honestly, trying to keep all the pieces together is a feat in itself, but I am having great fun.

A map of the Plaka in Athens from my new, old book.

Research and a Derailment

Clearly, I was not in the Med in 1891 when the story is set, so I have had to research. The books you see today are those I picked up when in Athens recently, so that might give you a clue to one of the destinations in ‘Legacy.’ I also have to research… (No, I won’t name the place, yet) another country. This, I was doing on Monday when I got derailed.

I had set up a throughline where the characters say:

‘We will go to X, then, from there to Y we can go by train. The journey will take us two weeks…’

Having done that, I then plotted and wrote the stories happening elsewhere around that timeline. On Monday, I discovered that there were no trains between X and Y in 1891, and rather than take artistic licence, I said, ‘Bugger!’ and replotted. The journey will now take up to one month, which means that part of the overall story shifts the timeline for all other parts of the story. Always do your research, and do it thoroughly.

(Not the offending book in question)

In my defence, I was using a book advertised as published in 1890 which said the line opened two years ago, only to find out, on Monday, it was actually the 1897 edition and not the one I thought it was. This meant the railway line wasn’t opened until four years after my characters would have been on it, and you know I like to be as accurate as possible with my details.

Anyway… This isn’t getting the writing done, so that’s exactly what I am going to do now. Battle on with the next chapter while keeping copious notes about what I need to change, add, and subtract from what’s already written while taking away the number I first thought of.

I will leave you with a tiny teaser and see you on Saturday!

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