Our first week of NaNo is down, and so far I’m still on track for my 25,000 word goal. I had a really solid weekend and am at 8,120 words, which puts me a couple of days ahead on my word count goal. It’s nice to have that cushion, because babies are unpredictable and I don’t know how future days will go!
I wrote about 1,800 words yesterday, which gave me a lot of my current cushion. It helped I was writing a particularly fun scene. The bulk of the novel is set in 1939-40, but I plan to drop in periodic flashbacks to Maggie’s childhood. Partially that’s to build more dimensions in her character, but it also lets me feature Erik and Meg as characters, even though they’ve died by the beginning of the book. So I spent Saturday writing a flashback sequence – Maggie goes to the cinema with her grandfather, the Phantom of the Opera, to see Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera. They don’t altogether react as intended…
The movie was fascinating. It gave me a queer feeling to see my familiar opera house on the flickering screen, though it wasn’t always right about the details. The whole story seemed so removed from anything real that I could enter into it with a spectator’s enthusiasm, though it seemed to me that Grand-père was laughing and sighing in the wrong spots.
I watched mostly in rapt silence, but couldn’t help myself when we came to the unmasking. A great gasp of horror rose up from the audience when Lon Chaney’s face was first revealed, enough to mostly cover my indignant, “But that’s not right!”
“Shh,” Grand-père said absently.
“But his face is wrong,” I whispered. “And she shouldn’t have snatched his mask off – you don’t do that.”
He laughed then too, and tousled my hair. “Quite right.”