WIP Update: The Dream (Update #9) + Big News!

It’s been a hot minute (or several hundred) since I last posted a WIP update for The Dream. I’m pretty sure the last one was around June or July. Oh well. But, at least I have some good news to report this time!

As you might guess from the title of this WIP Update, or if you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I finally finished writing The Dream! Yes, that’s right. The Ballad of Emery Brooks trilogy is done, as far as first drafts go. I’m both over the moon excited, as well as nervous about starting on my next WIP, which is a contemporary YA standalone that I will explain more about at a later date.

For now, let’s rewind and revisit how I managed to write the last leg of The Dream in two months time!

November 2021

June and July were terrible for me on a personal level, let me just get that out there. After that, I decided to give myself another (though this time, intentional) break from writing so I could deal with all that personal stress from wedding planning and work. And y’all… after the wedding week in mid-October, it felt like the weight of the world had been shed from my shoulders. Being a wifey is so much better than being a bride, truth be told. Being a bride is stress city. But, of course, you have to be a bride before you can be a wifey. Duh.

My husband and I enjoyed our week-long honeymoon in Nashville, TN (can’t recommend going there enough! It was the best vacation I’ve ever been on), and once November rolled around, I was eager to jump back on the keyboard.

And man, did I.

With the intention of easing back into writing, my first word count goal was 5 or 6k. Being I hadn’t written a word since July, I figured it would take a bit of time to get reacquainted with the story.

Nah. Glory be to God, I reached that point about halfway through the month.

So then, the goal became 7.5k or 8.5k. I reached that earlier than expected, too.

At that point, with a mischievous little grin, I decided what the heck? Let’s make it 10,750.

Why such a random number? By setting that goal, it would put me at a total word count of 69k, which was as close enough to 70k as I felt I could get before the end of the month. I was trying to ensure that, by striving for that word count in November, I could do the same thing in December and reach my goal total word count of 80k. Win-win.

On November 30th, I met the 10.75k goal by the skin of my teeth, writing a total of 10,796 words for the month. ❤

And then came December.

December 2021

I think I got a little cocky here, thinking that I didn’t really have to write on a set schedule like I had in November. Low-key want to slap myself over that in hindsight, but whatevs.

Allowing myself to skip every other day for a bit, by the time the week of Christmas approached, I had written just shy of 5k words.

At this point, I was panicking, not gonna lie. My goal was to finish the book by the end of the year. My motivation was high, because I had just finished writing Writing by Faith: Following God’s Calling to be a Christian Author at the end of November, and finishing The Dream before 2021 ended would mean I had written two books in a year for the first time ever. This accomplishment called to me like a craving for nachos, but I didn’t write from December 22nd – 27th to give myself a break for Christmas. That put me even further behind. But still, I was determined to make it work.

On December 28th, I got back to business, writing a little over a thousand words.

December 29th, I went shopping with my Momma and sister, and then went on a date night with my husband to eat and see Spider-Man: No Way Home, so I didn’t write any that day.

By December 30th, I felt the end was near, so I did ten or so 20-minute writing sprints and managed to write just over 3k. This put my monthly total at 8,937. But, the end wasn’t as near as I thought, even though I was close to my overall monthly goal of 10.75k.

Then came December 31st… New Year’s Eve… CRUNCH TIME.

Lord, have mercy, that was an experience. XD

I tried to go to the DMV that morning to deal with some name change stuff, but, naturally, they were closed despite their hours on Google saying they were open. So, that didn’t get done, but my family was with me, and we shopped a bit in the town we were in (thirty minutes from home) before heading back. I got back home around 1 pm maybe, and then felt the urge to vacuum the floors (or procrastinate, it’s anyone’s guess), and finished around 2 pm.

With ten hours to spare, I booted up my laptop.

For the next ten hours, with the exception of an hour and a half break to pick up pizza from Domino’s in a nearby town and savor that glorious cheesy bread, I did twenty-minute writing sprints off and on. Around 10:40-ish, Josh and I decided to eat some ice cream, because I was in a massive brain fog (and we were starting back using MyFitnessPal on January 1st, so why not stuff our faces while we had the chance?) and that break lasted around 20 minutes. Then I nearly panicked when I saw that it was 11:00pm and I still had so much left to write.

Real-time Reel of this moment:

If I look like I was about to snap at any moment, it’s because I was. XD

I think I was midway through the Epilogue at that point. For the next forty minutes, I wrote. If you asked me now what I wrote, or how good it was, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. I’m sure when I read the draft for the first time, it will be the worst thing I’ve ever written.

But, ten minutes before midnight, I finished the dang thing. The Dream, the finale of The Ballad of Emery Brooks trilogy, is complete. Thank the Good Lord above.

My word count total for December 31st ended up being 4,580 words. As far as I know, that’s the most words I’ve ever written in a single day. Glory be to God for that.

The Dream‘s final word count is 82,613 words. Right now, it’s just a tad longer than both The Crush and The Fall.

Will it shrink during edits? I have no earthly idea. Honestly, I’ll probably have to rewrite the last twenty pages, but we’ll see. Nevertheless, I’m happy to finally be able to say I’ve written my first trilogy. ❤

Talk to Me, Arrowheads!

How are your writing projects going? Have you ever written a trilogy? Did you feel like you were half dead after writing the final line like I did? Let me know in the comments!

Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.

-Allyson 😀

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As an author and blogger, my goal is to teach writers that there is a way to write realistic, thought-provoking, redemptive Christian fiction that honors God while not sugarcoating the realities of the world.