A third of November has gone by, but it’s hard to say if I’m a third of the way through my NaNoWriMo plans. I’m currently at 23,326 words for the month, keeping up a good cushion should I slip in future days this month–you never know what might be coming! I’m well out of the lull portion I’ve mentioned, with both of the second-half-of-the-book villains coming onto the scene. Xevrix the enchantress is in secret communication with Rose, while Edward, Terrence’s brother, has arrived to sow discord and dissension and assassination attempts.
I think I know where I’m going in coming scenes, some sections more clearly than others, but it’s much harder to say if the end of the story will coincide with the 50,000 word mark, or even the 60,000! I’m hoping it won’t extend much beyond that, but as my writing friends always tell me…the story will be as long as it needs to be.
I’ve been pleased with my word count and the progression of the story so far. The writing is definitely a first draft, and it will need polish and possibly overhauling in the revision process. I find I can’t keep all the little details of character mannerisms and recurring references in mind when I write an initial draft, so that’s what I’ll be going back through to do in the future (probably in early 2020).
As for keeping up the word count, I think I’m definitely seeing that writing is like a muscle that you can train–or maybe, like any other skill, something that you grow in proficiency with. I’ve done some heavy writing training in 2019, with intensive short story writing and heavy revision work. And now that I’m doing NaNoWriMo, I can feel the training that’s gone in.
Don’t get me wrong–it’s still a challenge! Running a marathon is still hard even when you’ve trained for it, and it’s still hard the seventh time you do it. But, compared to previous NaNoWriMos, I can feel all the training that’s gone in. The words do flow easier and at higher numbers than they might have in earlier years.
Although I still have a strange difficulty in starting at times. Once the hands are on the keyboard and the words are going for this particular session, the training kicks in. But I have run into some initial inertia in getting the hands onto the keyboard–or at least, into the right word document and not poking around the NaNo forums or somewhere equally distracting! Something else to work on training…
For now, have an excerpt. Here we see how deeply Rose doesn’t trust Edward–which will be a source of conflict, because Terrence does trust him. More reading (and writing!) required to find out which one is right.
“Before you go, I wanted to offer a friendly warning.” Edward took a step closer and Rose tensed.
Why had she stepped so close to the railing? It was a long drop down, and suddenly it occurred to her, if he grabbed her arm again now—Gregory had tried to push her to her death, and this was a much, much longer drop. She backed away from the railing, turning to keep her eyes on Edward.
Edward didn’t move. His face didn’t even change, as though he didn’t notice that she was putting distance between them. “I didn’t only come to see Terrence,” he continued, voice still even. “My father is…he can be a difficult man to be around when he’s angry. And he has been angry, ever since Gregory—oh, you’re not blind, you already knew that. But I finally had enough of being around it, and I thought it couldn’t hurt to mention it, just to make sure you both realize. It’ll be best if you’re careful.”
When he stopped talking, when he didn’t move any closer to her, Rose slowly let out her breath. A friendly warning. A friendly warning about his father, the one she already knew was a danger. “Thank you,” she said after a moment. “I—appreciate the insight.”
Edward nodded, turned back towards the railing, and Rose’s breath caught again as he reached out to Silvertips, still poised on the railing. His hands closed around the tiny cat, lifting him up, and Rose was stepping closer after all, because if he wanted to hurt her cat, she—but then he was turning, offering the wriggling kitten to her. “You wouldn’t want to go without your cat, of course,” he said, and smiled.
She took Silvertips from his hands, not sure if it had been closer to snatching than taking, and gathered the kitten to her chest. “Thank you,” she said again. Then she bobbed a slight, hasty curtsy, and turned to the door.