I haven't had much opportunity to write this week, as I've been pretty swamped at work with teaching and student evaluations. I did get some work done last Sunday, and I'm proud to say that Chapter 15 of Exile is completed, and the first draft is available to read over at www.satiswrites.com. I've made some progress on Chapter 16, but to be honest, I'm feeling a little lost.

It's a curious thing that this series, which started out portraying the life and struggles of one character (Brandyé), has suddenly started focusing much more strongly on what was initially a companion (Elven). Two of the five sections of the third book are entirely about Elven, without any mention of Brandyé at all. And oddly, I've found those sections easier to write. I've become more invested in the story and fate of the sidekick than I have of the main character. This is even getting to the point where I'm considering doing some terrible, terrible things with the main character, Brandyé—and having Elven become the true hero (Sam to Tolkien's Frodo, I suppose).

So now I'm back to a section of the book dealing with Brandyé, and I'm not quite sure where to go. I know where I need to end up, but I can't quite figure out a way to get there. I last left him captured by the enemy on the brink of a war that will engulf the entire world of Erâth, but I don't know how he's going to escape, and I can't think how he'll return. I'm confident I'll find a way, but it makes me feel like these sections are somehow weaker than those involving Elven.

Either way, the book will get written, and then edited, and then published. This will happen. And then, of course, I can focus on the fourth book. And the fifth … and so on and so forth. For now, all I can do is put my head down and concentrate on writing one word at a time. After all, a thousand mile journey begins with the first step.