Acceptable amount of progress

Lisa* and I spent the day with Yak Guy. I have to admit, she spent most of her time with the yak. She has this thing for animals, and this one talks.

Yak Guy isn't quite as spoiled and entitled as he once was, but he has a long way to go. I even got him to the point where he shows a bit of the hero he may become. He revealed a minor bit of heart, but not a great amount.

He's at the point where he can meet a new character in the story. They just have to make a treacherous journey over snowy mountains. He has no coat, poor shoes, and no clue what's going on. His life is in the yak's hands, (hooves). He will grow and learn.

I'm excited and terrified by this story at the same time. I can handle a bit of adventure, and excitement. This is going to include some spiritual growth, and I hope I'm up for it. I may need a real editor by next fall.

I'm alternating between things going too fast, and not fast enough. I'm at 8600 words, and I've already blasted through total commitment, (he had no choice) and taking action where he had to be heroic. On the other hand, there has been a lot of traveling and camping.

This section is all about learning to take care of his basic needs. Imagine a spoiled city kid, who leeches off of his friends, being suddenly thrust into life in the wilderness. He needs to know some things, and I'm trying to show his growth this way. I honestly don't know if people will find it boring, or get the idea that he's growing through small lessons.

Many of the characters will represent major arcana cards in the fool's journey. Obviously, Yak Guy is The Fool. The Yak serves as The Magician. It's the yak's job to teach a work ethic to Yak Guy. I intend to have the yak around throughout the story, but we'll see where it goes.

The next character will be the High Priestess, although it may be a priest when I write it. After those lessons, Yak Guy will be ready to be around people again. I think I'll have him make a major decision at that point to signal the end of Act One. I'll check the word count at that point, and get an idea how long this story will turn out.

We'll see how it goes, but I'm writing it. I haven't left the outline behind yet, it's just a long way between the mile markers.

Lisa saddled up the yak, and led him out the garage doors from the basement. She led him to the front door, and we watched Yak Guy ride off into the snow. I have a fair idea who he is now, and what he's all about.

*Lisa Burton is my robotic assistant. She's also the spokesmodel for Entertaining Stories.


Filed under Writing

31 responses to “Acceptable amount of progress

  1. This sounds soooo good! Can’t wait to read it. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m always fascinated by your imagination and tonight is no different. Talking yak and Yak Guy — things I never think of…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is some progress. I enjoy following your writing journey with your characters. I have a couple of your books on my iPad that I haven’t read yet. I’m feeling sorta like a slacker. When I can see the light at the end of the tunnel I’m in, I’ll breathe easier and catch up on some reading and writing. Right now…I’m dedicated to final edits and getting this second book out. High time, right?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This sounds very interesting and I love the use of the cards. I know what you mean about the traveling parts. They can develop characters, but also drag on a bit if you’re still pumped from the action.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have some real concern with those sections. Part of the problem is this guy is learning stuff that many of us take for granted. Not the woodsman stuff, but taking care of things. Planning time for required things, etc. I’m playing off alternate definitions of ruminate. The yak has to stop to chew his cud. Yak guy needs to think about what he’s learning.


      • So they’re periods of self-reflection? I can see how you have concern about those kinds of scenes. An impatient reader might get frustrated because they don’t get that Yak guy is learning things we already know. Though as long as it’s clear that he doesn’t know these things, I think more people will understand. Almost like reading about a child growing up.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I raised one of these, and it’s getting pretty common today. I call it failure to launch syndrome.


      • To some extent. One big part of it today is that it’s too expensive to launch at the same time older generations did. That and there are times you get sent back to port with a busted rudder and torn sails. Anyway, it’s definitely a syndrome that gets played up more for comedy than drama with very little progression from the one who has it. Good to hear you’re having Yak guy evolve.

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      • Mine all had the expensive problems. One is nearly 30, and moved from couch to couch. He moved back home a few times too. Now he lives with his girlfriend’s parents. He doesn’t work either.


      • I know people like that. Also those that spend more time on wild schemes that never come to fruition instead of getting a paying job. Feels weird saying that when I’m the career author, but I know one person who practically thrives off being nomadic. Not in a good way either.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I hadn’t thought about wild schemes. Maybe because it isn’t my experience, but it’s a darned good point.


      • I was raised to be overly cautious and not do much in the way of risk. So I think the last few years of me being a struggling author has been a real test for myself and everyone around me. It’s interesting how a change of path, an upheaval, or going for the dream path can test more than the person who made the decision.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I went through about ten years of that myself. My wife fought me every step of the way. I changed careers eventually.


      • Kind of the opposite here. I went the safe route for a decade while the wife kept trying whatever caught her interest. Finally stopped her when the kid was coming.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Ali Isaac

    Progress, that’s a word I like, full of the feel-good factor. Keep it going, Craig, sounds like you can get loads more mileage out of the yak-guy character. But a talking yak, that might take a little more convincing. And all that snow, yuk! You are not kind to your characters!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like really good progress. Sorry I’m late in hopping on…fighting a thoroughly wretched cold and have spent most of the past few days sleeping. Lisa does have an affinity for animals. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks. I’m working on it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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