Current word count: 24,000
A few days ago I had a great night of inspiration for the story. I figured out a pretty good way to put two of the characters, Laro Sadoleto and Jek Tahng, to great use. While I had planned on employing the Jek character from a very early stage in my thoughts, the Laro character was invented "on-the-fly" as part of chapter 3, Woods of the Wildlands. After considering Laro's purpose at this early stage in the story, I realized that it would be possible to use him later, and decided to do so.
Several days ago, though, I devised a way where the character could experience a significant arc. As it currently stands, I plan on following this track for Laro. Surprisingly, I am very excited about him, especially since his initial function was minor. I cannot wait to see what this character will be able to accomplish for the plot of Ark.
I also invented a new character who is loosely inspired by Monk Gyatso from Avatar: The Last Airbender. This character will not appear for quite some time and will thus remain nameless for now. I am very fascinated and excited by the role he will be able to play in the story.
Currently, I am about 3,000 words into chapter 5, which is tentatively titled The Conclave. Chapter 5 once again resumes the story from Tru's perspective and follows her on her way to the Quorum assembly mentioned in chapter 3: Ghosts of Chimon-Jing. Per the request of one of my closest advisors, we see a lot more of Linus in chapter 5.
Chapter 5 is a real turning-point in Ark, as everything prior to it is aimed at contextualizing the world and characters that we meet. Chapter 5 is where the actions of Dang in chapters 2 and 4 are finally seen in scope, and it is also where the tension expressed by Tru in previous chapters comes to a head. It also features a more prominent role of the politics of the World of Ark and (I hope!) immerses the reader in a more directed cultural context.
We meet two very important characters in chapter 5: Arch Magister Vartega, head of the Magisterial Authority, and Cerinth Merari, former member of Tru's task force and the only survivor of Dang's terrorist attack at Chimon-Jing. Both of these characters have only been alluded to prior to chapter 5, so I am very glad to finally introduce them into the narrative proper.
Progress on the book is slow but steady, as I am also enrolled full-time in graduate school. Fortunately, I think the old proverb "slow and steady wins the race" is very applicable. Since my mind is often busy with a great many things, I very rarely find myself "stagnating" while writing and thinking about Ark. Thus far reviews of the book have been very encouraging, and I hope to maintain my head of steam and continue to deliver a quality story.
As usual, those interested in reading the full manuscript of Ark can visit my page at Scribophile.com.
For now, I should probably return to my history assignment. Thanks for reading!