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XI Progresses

June 24, 2004

Despite the rough, slow start of Chapter XI, once I broke out of the first section, I quickly managed to find my stride. As of last night, the first three sections are done, twenty-one pages in all. Ten of those, of course, were laid down last night.

Not bad, considering I officially started XI on Monday. That puts me at seven pages per day, far above my average of closer to around four, and even higher than the five-and-a-half pages a day I averaged in the heady days of writing Chapter V.

Better still, with the possible exception of the chapter’s final section, I felt that the first three were the most difficult to write. Not only do they cover a lot of emotional ground, but a lot of the political and military preparations for the year 216, as well. I wish there was a way to, as Jamie suggested, just leave the stuff out, but I can’t. It becomes relevant later in the novel, and I’m not about to drop out of nowhere that, oh yeah, Lucius Postumius Albinus was elected praetor and sent to Gaul with two legions. For later events to make sense, the groundwork must be laid.

Now that they are, I can get back to moving events forward. And they will, quickly. I’ve already got the next three sections pretty much planned out in my head already. And the fourth and final section of the chapter is at least in a good place conceptually.

With luck, I’ll tear through what remains quickly. Jamie is going to be out of town the second week in July, and I’d like to put my lonely nights to good use. By diving into Chapter XII, that is.

EDIT: After looking at my typical rate of progress, I’m likely to put Chapter XI to rest by July 5th. And that’s me being pessimistic. July 1st, possibly, if all goes well.

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