In preparation, I dove back into researching the time period—1850s New York City in and around Five Points. The book had started with a 6-year-old-boy who watches his entire family in a cholera epidemic. Taught by his father never to accept charity, the boy flees attempts to put him in an orphanage. He ends up on the worst streets in the Points—Little Water, Mulberry Bend and alleys like Bandit's Roost, Bottle Alley and others. He befriends a dog and her two half-grown puppies. He spends almost a year on the streets, a small invisible thief. During that time, he never speaks. When eventually he is picked up and put in the Five Points House of Industry.
It takes weeks to get the mute boy to speak again. Even then he doesn't fit in with other boys. There's more, but that gives you an idea. In the end it seems, at this point anyway, that it was a good choice. I'm almost at 14,000 words and still going strong. Mind you it's only the 7th day so there's still 43 to go. One piece of unexpected fun I enjoy is working on covers for the books. That and titles. Here are two I did: