Strange as it seems, we’re already just past the halfway point of November–and of NaNoWriMo! In some ways I’m having a quiet month…because I’m spending a lot of it over my keyboard, and I am happy to report that my characters have had plenty of excitement. 🙂 Long update today, so I’m taking it in sections.
First on Numbers…
I was worried about this past week, because I knew I’d be out of the house four evenings out of five…so I deliberately built up a big cushion last weekend, with three days in a row that each topped 3,000 words. And then I managed to get at least some writing done every day last week, including the day I was out of town from 8 am to 8:30 pm for work.
So where do I stand now? I just passed 33,000 words today…which if you’re counting along at home, puts me well above NaNo’s official goal for Day 16, which is 26,672. But I have a small confession about that goal…or rather, my goal! You see, my real end goal here is to have a complete first draft by the end of December, which I’m guesstimating as about 75,000 words. I blocked off a lot of time in November, but December is going to be busier…so my November goal is actually to hit 60,000, leaving 15,000 for next month.
I have this thing about not announcing goals unless I’m feeling reasonably confident…! Right now, happily, I’m on track, since my goal for today is to be at 32,000. I’m not positive I’ll get the remaining 27,000 in the next two weeks…but I’m hopeful!
On the Story Development front…
Despite the frantic pace and lack of initial planning, I like how things have developed so far. I had a sort of three-act structure in mind (although not a lot of clarity about what would happen in each of those acts…) Act One introduced the two main characters, an assortment of side characters, a lot of magical mayhem, and some mysteries that I frankly didn’t have any answers to yet!
At the end of the Act One, Karina, my heroine, essentially tells the hero, “fine, I’ll tell you my story…” and that takes us to a jump back in time and (hopefully!) some answers. That happened around about Nov 12th, and 25,000 words. Karina briefly rebelled–the two of them were arguing and it really looked like she was going to refuse to tell him anything, and completely ruin my entire book structure…but I managed to bring her around on the idea and we continued according to plan.
That then landed me on about Day 13 of NaNoWriMo, with the realization that I now needed to create a whole new cast of supporting characters and a new setting, because we changed countries and every character aside from Karina herself. I hadn’t quite thought that one through…! But things shook out over the next couple of days, and while some of the supporting characters may change in a revision, I think I got the important matters sorted out. And some of those mysteries are still mysteries, but they’re starting to come clearer.
And in the meantime, I’ve at least managed to name a gang of thieves (the Black Lions) and populate it with five members for Karina–or Rin–to be running with.
And on that note, Excerpt time!
More footsteps on the stairs. The drumbeat of fingers on the railing meant it was Weldon and…yes, a few seconds behind him, taking the steps two at a time, had to be his brother Tyrone. Weldon aimed straight for the kitchens, while Tyrone loped over to Rin’s table, giving her braid a tweak as he passed.
“How’s our lioness this morning?” he asked, swinging a leg over the bench beside Old John, and sitting down with his arms folded on the table.
It took only an eyeblink for the knife in Rin’s arm sheath to be in her hand, and then embedded point first in the table a quarter inch from Tyrone’s sleeve. “Still clawed, thank you,” she said sweetly.
“All right, all right, don’t get your fur rumpled,” Tyrone protested, lifting his hands defensively.
“Don’t tug my hair,” she countered, pulling her braid over one shoulder and slipping the knife back into its place.