Wednesday 18 November 2015

(vol 2) Chapter 45: “NaNoWriMo – Day 18”

2015 WORD COUNT=                        71606

2015 NaNo WORD COUNT=               28151

2015 TOTAL WORD COUNT =           99757

With November the 15th now out of the way, it’s the downward rush towards the finish line.

These last seven days have been tough, a lot tougher than I expected, and I feel like I’ve let myself down. The want to write was there (most of the time), but as I got to the end of CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE FOREST OF DEATH, I found myself wading through tar again. Yet it’s not the ending that gets me, it’s that annoying little bit just before it. The part where the heroes prepare themselves, and head off to face the finale. It’s that pause, the build in tension, the wind up. Hopefully it’s something I can work on.

But, despite the struggle, I did manage to write these last few days, so it’s not quite the disaster that it felt like at the time. 

DAY TWELVE – 629 words

Well, I thought I’d been clever by sticking a cottage in front of my heroes, so as to mix things up a bit. And then I found I’d written myself into a basement shaped corner. Today was spent of winding up the solution, getting the heroes the hell out of there, and getting them back on track.
One silver lining was that I’d discovered a solution to a series of breadcrumbs I wasn’t even entirely aware that I was dropping. From the start I’d placed a mysterious figure watching from the shadows but not really thought much of it. While the boys were fleeing the cottage, my brain was busy building an elaborate backstory for this mysterious figure, as well as a way to intertwine his plot into the main story.

Unfortunately it was late, and my mind was struggling to keep a steady pace. I planned what was coming next and called time.

DAY THIRTEEN – 1204 words

To have written anything on Friday was a massive surprise. With it being my son’s birthday, I had planned for a zero word count day (plan for the worst, hope for the best). Add Flash! Friday, a health visitor visit, a trip to the doctors for my son to have a flu jab, the morning at a play shack, a meal out – well, as you can see the day was pretty packed. So 1 word would have been a blessing; 1204 was just plain awesome.

This scene was all about taking what I’d thought up the previous day and putting it on page; the mysterious figure is reveal, and a key location is set up.

I sensed the ending coming now.

DAY FOURTEEN – 1740 words

A few weeks ago, while planning the story of CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE FOREST OF DEATH, I had this vision of the whole forest collapsing into the ground, our heroes barely surviing. The only problem was how that would fit in with the story of two guys just lost in the woods.

Flash forward and the story was becoming a little more epic in scale. The shadowy figure is revealed to be a key character to the forest, a forest that doesn’t exactly sit in our plane of existence.

I really had my ending now.

DAY FIFTEEN – 2039 words

My son’s birthday party. A day far busier than the Friday. Another planned zero word count day. So guess my surprise and excitement when I managed to update my spreadsheet with 2000+ words. How did I manage it, I hear you ask? Well, I guess I was kind of lucky that the Brazilian Grand Prix was nothing short of a bore fest. I mean it was the opposite of entertainment. So out came the laptop and the words flowed.

It was the last planned day for CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE FOREST OF DEATH. I’d decided early on that I’d handle a minimum of two novellas this November, and day 15 was the halfway point. Couple that with the struggle to build the ending (I ended up skipping the build-up and the last burst of writing was the last couple of scenes of the story) and I was ready to start the next story.

DAY SIXTEEN – 1281 words

A new story meant a new intro. I decided to open CHRIS AND MIKE vs THE TEMPLE OF GLOOM with a standard TV show opening. So the scene is set, new characters (an archaeologist and his assistant) and the novella’s big bad is semi-revealed.

DAY SEVENTEEN – 1759 words

In a similar way to how I started the last novella, I wanted to find Chris and Mike making their way through the real world, dealing with new real world problems. In this case, Mike is homeless and jobless and is now relying on Chris for help.

Of course Chris being Chris, things are never that simple. And that’s why, instead of show Mike to his house, the pair end up at a house viewing for a building that really should be torn down.

DAY EIGHTEEN – 1704 words

After venting to his friend, Mike finds that Chris has bigger plans than just being a cheap, run down home. You see he has a treasure map.

I spent a lot of this chapter doing more world building too, aware that this series could have legs, and things can be dropped in here and there to set up for later adventures.

The point of NaNoWriMo (in my opinion) is to always march forward, to keep writing and leave the looking back (all that editing) until December 1st. And so I apply that logic to all aspects of the process. Like badly written prose, the distractions and writers block of the last week are now firmly stuck in the past and cannot be amended. All I can do is keep my chin up and power on, knowing from past experience that a word splurge can happen at any moment. I’m behind my targets, sure, but nowhere near the distance to consider stopping. Not by a long shot.

And in the meantime there are my fellow FlashDog writer buddies to draw inspiration from.

A massive congratulations to Tamara Shoemaker, Margaret Locke, and Carin Marais, all who have in the last week, crossed the 50,000 word finish line. To do that this early is amazing, and I am in complete awe of each of them.

Meanwhile, still in the race, and running alongside me, are Tamara Rogers, Emily June Street, Steph Ellis, Liz Hedgecock, Rebekah Postupak, and Casey Rose Frank. All still pouring out the words and keeping me honest.

And that’s it for another week. Looking forward to see where tomorrow leads me. Good luck to all those still charging through their stories.

See you in seven.

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