We’re two-thirds of the way through November now, somehow! According to my plot outline, I’m a quarter of the way through my novel, which lines up with my goals pretty well. I’m right around 22,000 words, and my first drafts tend to come in around 75-80,000, so that’s about right for a quarter of the way through the story.
I’m also in great shape for my goal to hit 25,000 words! I expect to pass that in the next few days. I’ve actually been holding pretty steady to land around 35,000 words, so that’s my new target – although we’ll see if Thanksgiving week is easier or more difficult for writing than normal weeks!
Meanwhile in the story, events are heating up in the world situation. I’ve just got up to August 23, 1939, when the Nazis and the Soviets signed a non-aggression pact. From my research, that seems to be when war between France and Germany became inevitable, although it wasn’t actually declared for about 10 days. The romance moves along in parallel to the war situation, so that’s also beginning to pick up. I’m righting something of the calm before the storm right now, with more excitement coming on September 3rd.
For now, my characters are dealing with the breaking news, and I’ve been getting sidetracked into trying to hunt down newspaper archives from the time period. Fewer pictures than I’d expected, although since my romantic lead is a photojournalist I’m probably just going to ignore that fact…
Here’s a bit from today’s writing!
I kept buying La Nouvelle, skimming past the grim headlines that seemed to be always predicting disaster on the world stage, to look for any of Paul’s photos. Those were always with the articles on local news.
The blow fell on August 23rd. I stopped to pick up La Nouvelle as usual, and found the front page given over to a screaming headline about a new treaty between Germany and the Soviet Union. I couldn’t honestly see just why this was so significant, but the sheer size of the letters made the impression unavoidable.
I read the article as I walked to the Opera. Everyone on the streets seemed to have a paper, and every paper was reporting the same story. As far as I could tell, various treaties and expectations and balancings of power meant that the military threat some people had warned about and other people had dismissed was now an established fact. There was no war between France and Germany yet, but it was the opinion of La Nouvelle that it was inevitable.
I felt a chill as I read the hard black words. A war. A war like there had been when I was born. A war like my father had died in. Why would anyone want another war? How could anyone allow such a thing to happen again?