What a week it’s been. Over the weekend, I wrote more than 11000 words. That’s probably the most I’ve ever written in two days. I don’t think I could do it often though. It’s incredibly draining. Satisfying too.
I’m nearly at the 30000 mark for NaNo now. That’s still way behind schedule but at least it’s not the pitiful 16000 I had before.
I’m at a write-in now but struggling to find words. This is partly because I’m writing a scene I haven’t imagined yet. Trying to find words to describe something that isn’t a picture in my head is hard. I have to think then write. I can’t do both at once.
The other reason I’m struggling to find words is that I’ve reached a stage in the manuscript where all the gaps I’ve left in the story are becoming glaringly obvious. I’m making notes as soon as I notice them and referencing where it needs to be fixed, but I really want to go back and plug the holes, fix things. Unfortunately, that’s not conducive to writing more words for NaNo. I might have to do it anyway if I can’t move forward without it.
I’m enjoying the story I’m writing, even though what I’m writing was never part of the original plot. It fits and it’s fun. It also requires me to write more bad poetry. I have loads of fun with my poetry but it’s pretty ordinary. This is what I wrote Wednesday evening:
Beloved locked in frozen world
Trapped by fear and hate
Rising new freedom
Back into being
Everyone that sees
Everything you need
Never could be
Swimming in the blue depths
Forever through the clouds
Of the ancient river.
The danger has passed
The black has risen
And so must you.
It needs a lot of work but I’m not taking the time to fix it yet—like everything during NaNo.
There are only a few more days to go. One more weekend that I can postpone ‘real life’ and focus solely on my writing. I’ll see if I can meet last weekend’s word count.
Doing NaNo and working full time is hard. By week three, I always end up with a headache, regardless of how I try to pace myself. That doesn’t mean I haven’t written anything this week. It just means I haven’t written as much as I’d wanted to.
My writing total for this week is 6763. I’m still running at about half the target for reaching 50000 for the month, but it’s better than nothing. And I have two write-ins this weekend to keep it moving.
The good news is that my story is moving on. I’m about half way into the plot now and I’m finally working out how my two main characters interact with each other. It’s taken a long time because the main character changed into a different person half way through Warrior Pledge. That means I changed his name and his history so there was no link to another series I’m writing. I had to get to know him all over again.
The second character was a totally new character. While I’d written his background, I was still getting to know him and how he treated other people. Of course, how he interacts with the first character has to be different to everyone else, if only in his own head, but I think I’ve worked it out.
That means the list of things to fix once I finish getting the plot down has grown significantly. All of their actions and dialogue together will have to be rewritten to make sure the growth of their now-comfortable interaction is obvious, and all the personality traits I want to be obvious become so. I don’t like editing, but I’m looking forward to seeing them grow and get to know each other the way I know they should have in the first place.
I’m really tempted to go back and start fixing it all now but I know if I do, it’ll take three times longer to actually finish the book. I’ll still be writing it at the end of next year and that’s not something I want to contemplate. I want the bones of this book down before Christmas so I can spend my summer holiday editing.
Every November, I tell myself I’ll do better and NaNo, keep to target, exceed it even. Then when November rolls around again, I realise that it’s the busiest time of year at my day job and, if I wanted to focus on NaNo, I really needed to take some leave.
So here I am, no leave, still working full time during one of the busiest times of year for my job, and writing about half as much as I need to in order to win NaNo.
I do have a couple of big writing days planned, so hopefully that will bump my word count up again.
Today I’m at a shopping centre, hoping to break 11000 words before I go home. Tomorrow I’m hosting a write-in at the library where I work, so that will be another four to five hours solid writing. I’ll miss most of the mid-week write-in locally as I have a work thing on, but I’ll make the Saturday write-in and am also hosting another write-in on Sunday.
The dedicated write-ins seem to work best for me at the moment. My story is coming very slowly so trying to take advantage of an unexpected ten minute wait for something doesn’t work. I barely have time to read through the last scene and start thinking about where it needs to go before I have to pack up again.
I thought I’d share today what I’ve written this morning. This is the first inkling, other than an ancient and irritating song, that Fisher has that he’s something a bit unusual. Btw: Artemis is a dragon (with multiple forms); that’s why Fisher accuses him.
Air rushed from Fisher’s mouth. His chest ached. Darkness swallowed him. Around him, rock pressed against him, crushing his ribs against his spine, and his nose flat. Granite sliced past his arm, stuck out in front, his fist clamped tightly around Artemis’ bicep. Spots swam in front of him, ghostly lights in the darkness. Fisher chased them, thinking they were light, but soon realized it was because he wasn’t breathing.
He couldn’t breathe. Just like under the water.
Fisher opened his mouth, panic tossing a scream around inside his head, bouncing around like his fractured thoughts. Air rushed in, cool and metallic down his throat. In his head, he screamed. In his ears, it was a whimper. And still he fell backward, as if through molasses, suspended in time. He heartbeat pounded in his ears and his head, and his throat, like it didn’t come from his chest but through every spurt of blood pumping in his veins. Thump, thump. Thump, thump. He screamed again.
Then he landed on his back on rough gravel. Artemis’ arm wrenched from his hold and Artemis landed beside him and on top of him with a thump and a sharp elbow in Fisher’s stomach.
“Oof.” Stars blinked overhead. Stars. They were outside. He lifted his head. They were on a mountain path that skirted the rocky wall of the mountain. As fisher stared at the mountain, a gash in the rock rumbled closed. He wrenched his feet away from the narrowing gap, in the process kicking Artemis onto the path. “What the fuck?” Fisher scrambled crab-like backwards, pushing his heels against the gravel until he was far, far away from the granite wall, his shoulders hanging over the downward slope. The air was cool and fresh on his face and around his neck. His chest heaved and his head spun like he was still short of air, even though he was in the open now. “No way,” he panted. “No way.” That couldn’t have happened. There was no way he could move through rock. He couldn’t have.
Artemis. It must have been him. Fisher rose to his knees and crawled shakily to where Artemis laid, unmoving. Fisher shoved against Artemis’ shoulder. “What did you do?” He pushed against Artemis again. “What the fuck did you do?” His voice rose, hysteria edging his continued prodding at Artemis. Artemis didn’t respond. Fisher knelt over him, put both hands on Artemis’ shoulder and shoved.
Artemis rolled, then coughed. Hacked. Sputtered. Gasped. Panted. Scrambled to his feet, stumbled away from the rock outcrop. Looked wildly at Fisher. “What? What?” Even in the faint starlight, Fisher could see the whites of Artemis’ eyes. “What the fuck did you do?”
NaNoWriMo started on Tuesday. I was prepared. I had my novel plotted, all the character profiles done, world building complete. I’d even written to 30000 words and was ready to begin a new chapter in a convenient place so I knew exactly where to begin counting the NaNo words. The NaNo chapters are labelled differently so I don’t lose track of where I began. I’d also created a table so that I wasn’t constantly straining to write 1667 words every single day because my life doesn’t work like that.
So, how did I go?
Day 1: 1748 words
Day 2: 3242 words
On track, ahead of schedule.
Day 3: A very long day at work. I kept falling asleep as I typed. 169 words. Still on schedule.
Day 4: Still the falling asleep problem: 411 words. I’m behind.
Day 5: Today. I’m out of town catching up with friends, socialising, eating, drinking, having fun. No writing yet. Perhaps none at all today.
Where to from here? I’ll spend a couple of hours catching up with things in the house, then I’ll go to the nearest library and write for a while. With luck, I’ll catch up the shortfall and be back on track.
That’s one of the benefits of the table I created. I no longer feel guilty or anxious if I don’t write 1667 words in a day. As long as I make one of the targets on my table, I’m fine. The table gets adjusted too, so it remains at a total of 50000 words.
That’s the ten minutes I allocated to type this up. I’m going back to the champagne and company now (both excellent). I’ll be back next week with another NaNo update, and perhaps an excerpt from the book I’m writing.
E E Montgomery
About writing, life, and random thoughts.
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