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She Went Along, and Went Along, and Went Along

My characters have reached Miklagarth, and I have outlined the final portion of the novel.

Next, I go through my pile of research notes and add and double-check some historical details.

Next, I go through my whole 150K-ish-word first draft and dump all the ballast and rewrite it into a form suitable for sharing with other humans.

I understand from reading lots of author bios and blogs that writing a work of historical fiction is generally a multi-year process, so I feel that this manuscript is moving along at a fairly speedy clip.

Speedy enough for a journey completed on rafts and rough trails and by creeping barefoot through the woods, in rags.

Speedy--and concise--for a book written by someone who grew up on enormous journey sagas like Anna Lee Waldo's Sacajawea and Jean M. Auel's glacial Earth's Children series.

The caption of this illustration by Arthur Rackham refers to a line in the story called "Catskin," a variant of the Cinderella/Princess Mouseskin/Donkeyskin/All-Fur type of tale whose protagonist is a major influence for my main character and her so-called twin brother.

For a spoiler-ish description of some variations of the tale that I've used to create my novel's plot--and the story behind the name of my blog--"Crack the Nutshell; Enter the Lime Tree."

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