I haven't written a proper a report on this novel lately, but I have been working on the story. The first draft is almost up to 40k already (and probably will cross that line tonight -- yes, I was right. Crossed the 40k mark). The story revolves around the arrival of a new prince heir who is absolutely not suited to the position. His grandmother, the queen, is desperate enough to call on unusual help, including her sister's son, Sefu. Sefu left the palace four years earlier when the Queen threatened to exile him after he bloodied the former Prince in a fight. Now she's going to put him back in the same position as Companion, and he's wondering just how far she wants him to go to get this spoiled prince in shape.
Meanwhile, far to the north at the Barbarian Gate, the king is dealing with the death of his son (the former prince heir), invasions, magic and thousand year old legends.
I started the novel on January 1, even though I didn't have the outline done. In fact, I still don't have it completed, though I am close. I have come to believe this book is really going to be at least two volumes, and there is a major change in direction right at the point where I've stopped outlining. I was having trouble moving forward, and I realize now that the next step should be a major one in time and feel. There are a few matters to cover here at the end, but the next part of the story would be better told if a few months pass and matters have well and truly changed.
Now, it may be when I get to that point, I'll just make the leap and continue in this same novel after all, but this depends on how long the book is by that point. Right now it looks as though it could be longer than I would like in a single book. 100k to 120k seems long enough in most cases. And, as I said, this one has a major change in storyline at that point, and starting new a few months into the next set of problems might be a lot of fun.
I am happy to report that the novel is now longer than the outline and world building material, at least. The characters are working out very well with some lovely little quirks.
I don't know how long it will take me to write the novel . . . or novels. If it keeps moving at the 2 to 3k a day it's been doing lately, I could be done with the first draft of the first book in a few more weeks. I will then start the outline of the second book, which I would hope to write for NaNo this year.
We'll see. Right now it looks as though the novel will move along nicely, but you never know what problems might suddenly leap up.
Oh, but that's part of the fun of writing, isn't it? If everything went without any little twists and turns, it would be far too predictable. People often think that those of us who do outlines write them to avoid those twists, but it's not true. We do the outline to work out the big, major steps in the story so that when we do find something unusual, we can see how to fit it into the story we want to tell.