Friday, November 9th, 2012

9.05am
Ok, I’m settled in at Armadale Library. At some point today the guys from Kmart Tire and Auto will give me a ring to let me know the verdict for my car. Not sure how much that’ll hurt, but hopefully by the end of the day I’ll come out with a car that’s a lot less worse for wear and a few thousand new words for NaNo.

First up, I need to get my mood music up and running (starting the playlist at my favourite cover artist, Kate Covington’s cover of ‘I’ll Follow You Into The Dark’) and then read over the last couple of scenes. I need to see what kind of mess I left in the gory horror of the last scene and see if I either need to make it messier, or clean it up a little.

9.20am
That scene isn’t too bad. I’m not sure the emotion comes across as believable, I’ll need to get a beta-reader to check over it and give me their opinion.

SPOILER!

It’s just occurred to me that Tori’s mother must have Angel blood as well. That makes Tori more angel than Nagaran which is an interesting concept. It could explain why she maintains her core of integrity when her mother betrays her family, her morals, her very identity. It could explain why Tori holds herself against the serpent when her mother was conquered by it. The question is, who are Charlene’s parents?

END SPOILER

9.25am
I don’t like the imagery of the serpent with the robe tangled around it. It’ll be difficult to get past the fact that the robe is torn to pieces every time Tori changes but that has to be a better option than a snake wearing a dress. I’ll have to go back and fix the scene that created the idea of the robe remaining on her and put in the nakedness of her body after each transformation.

10.00am
You know how I was worried that I built up to that intimacy between Lucas and Tori too quickly? This soft foreshadowing made me have that, “Yes, this is perfect,” feeling that I love.

SNEAK PEAK!

Earlier, Crey had begun to tell the story of the Four Fathers: “The histories tell of an exotic beauty with olive skin and long dark hair. She was lithe and lovely, and moved with grace and poise. The Four men became entranced with her and fought over who would be the one to make her give away her innocence.”

A couple of paragraphs later:
Lucas felt Tori lean forward, captivated by the story. Her profile in the flickering lantern light was enthralling. Her dark beauty, rich black hair, soft pink lips, all called to the core of a man. He imagined what it must have been like for the Four Fathers, each obsessed with a woman they could not have.

END SNEAK PEAK

Yes, this is the right soft touch to build on. The shared intimacy of their situation. Her memories of him as a compassionate guardian hurt by his failure to keep her father safe. His deep longing to protect her that goes beyond his duty as a guardian angel. Their shared suffering. It all builds up to the dramatic midpoint. It works.

10.15am
lol I love Zara’s impishness. She’s delightful to write and even more delightful to read. I think she’ll definitely have to make it into the second book. Of course, since that book is Crey’s there is almost no doubt that she will. I was thinking of killing her, having that be part of the motivation that drives Crey, but I think, if I do, it’ll be one of the hardest deaths in the whole series. Maybe I can find another way.

10.20am
Ick, the lack of sleep last night is catching up with me. My daughter woke up around 6am and needed help with something while she was getting dressed for school. It’s partly my fault, I’ve told the kids they have to be dressed, lunches made, bags packed before they can play or watch t.v. in the morning. Still, this ache behind my eyes is making the writing draining. I took some Aspirin a while back, it hasn’t kicked in yet. I hope it will take the edge off because I have a whole day of writing ahead.

10.35am
The song that just came up on my playlist feels perfect for this scene.
Within Temptation’s ‘Somewhere’.

10.45am
Ouch! Car guy just called. Looks like my car’s going to take just over a grand to fix up. Still, I made sure I had a touch over a thousand to cover it so I gave him the go ahead. I really need to get this book finished so that I don’t keep sinking into the pits of poverty.

10.50am
There’s that feeling again. My doubts about these scenes being too graphic last night really aren’t founded. Yes, there are a few more fatalities but the imagery of them is muted. And the energy through the scene, and the heart race at the end of the scene give it the perfect touch of action and motion, the perfect touch of pace.

Darn, now I’m out of scenes to read over and up to having to write a new scene. A tug of fear just lanced through me. I’m sad that I can’t just keep reading and I’m afraid I can’t get the next scene just as good. I’ve been at it two hours. Maybe it’s time for a short break? Or maybe that’s my fear talking? No, it is time for a short break. I’ve still got hours to go and if I push too hard without stopping to stretch my legs, to rest my eyes, I’ll regret it and write badly through the afternoon. So, a short break is in order.

Done some math. Two hours and only 97 words. *sighs* Not a great thing for NaNo but it is a great thing for the book because I went over 10 scenes. I’ll need to go back a little further to straighten out the robe situation and there are a few fact checks I’ve noted in the margins but I am ready to write some new words when I get back from my break.

11.50am
Whoops! Was that really a whole hour break? I did decide to get lunch while I could so I guess an hour isn’t too bad, still, it’s an hour I could have been writing so I guess it’s time to knuckle down and get this next scene written.

11.55am
I have to wonder, how many chapters does a fantasy book normally have? I have 15 so far and I’m only just about to hit the midpoint. Maybe some of my chapters need to be a little longer? I’ll have to look into this later today when I’m not writing.

12.15pm
Yeah, ok. I couldn’t resist going back and tweaking the chapters. Now I’ve got 15 to the midpoint which should be ok, right? lol We’ll see.

SPOILER!

12.45pm
Not sure if that scene works. I feel like the space between her tumbling into the church on the ground floor, and her crossing the room to the spiral staircase is a bit contrived. It puts the thought in her mind too soon, weakens the dramatic tension. Perhaps I need to put the spiral staircase in the underground temple, so that when she find herself on the roof of the church she’s surprised to be there. Of course, if I do that then I don’t have the shadowy imagery of the church as it’s changed by the moonlight. Perhaps instead I could have the iron door, the only way out, closed so tight she cannot get it open. Her need to flee might drive her up those stairs, it would put her on the railing, trying to find a way down. That’ll make the decision one of surrender, letting go, which is why the fall is so significant. Because it’s on the way down that she realises she has control, it was always her choice. I’ll leave it for now, and come back to it later.

END SPOILER

12.50pm
Changed my mind. Going to tweak this scene. The idea of her unable to get through the iron door of the church and going up the spiral stairs searching for a way to get out works. This scene, her getting to the roof, climbing onto the railing trying to find a way down leads well into the next scene. Where Lucas chases through the temple, drawn on by his sense of Tori.

1.05pm
Ok, much happier with that scene now. And I managed to get in the gargoyles my heart wanted. Even managed to add an additional 141 words. Score! lol Sadly, it’s still only 911 total words added in the past four hours. *groans* But I remind myself that I’ve still done a LOT of work. I’ve made the book better. I’ve polished up some of the earlier scenes. I’ve strengthened the work and that is part of my goal. It’s not just to get a finished draft at the end of this month, but a working manuscript that’s almost ready to send out to my beta readers. That’s the plan. So, plugging away at it, scene by scene, chapter by chapter, word by every wrenching word. So, onward! Next up, Lucas. I love Lucas.

1.30pm
Yeah, great scene. I love getting to the end and knowing it’s great. Especially that climatic finishing. I love being able to break the chapter here. Cliffhanger! Cliffhangers ROCK! I might have to add some words to Tori’s scene before this one so that the chapter is a decent length because it really should end here, I think. I suppose it depends what happens toward the end of the next scene and how long that scene is. Odds are it’ll be a cliffhanger ending too so it might be able to fit in this chapter and the Lucas scene will transition smoothly to the Tori one. We’ll see.

PS. This scene brings my total so far today to 1,725.

OH! And I just realised, I had two notes for this scene that I didn’t even look at. That could mean more words for this scene. Will go sort that out right now.

1.50pm
*sighs* Turns out those two notecards weren’t for the Lucas scene. They were both Tori. I wove what I could into one of the earlier scenes but they were mostly useless. I did get another 123 words added however so it’s not a complete write off.

I’m definitely going to have to include the next scene into chapter thirteen. I’m worried it’s going to be too short to do much good. Although, at this point, there are several intense scenes so I can probably use any of them to close out the chapter if I wanted. Will see how it goes.

Before moving on, I better make another pit stop. it’s been another two hours. Running a little behind my normal 1000 words per hour rate but I refuse to let that get me down. It’s not, after all, ideal conditions, and these scenes are tougher than most to write.

2.20pm
*frowns* Still too short and the chapter really does need to end on this scene. I can go back and bulk up the last three scenes. There is definitely room to rack up the tension, heighten the emotional turmoil, increase the torment, the horror, the power struggle. I need at least another thousand words to make it a decent chapter. I might have time to do that. Still no word from the car guy but it’s only half an hour till the kids get out of school. I have Mum on standby in case my car isn’t ready by then but I have to be conscious of that as I decide if I’ll get started on the next scene or flesh out these ones.

2.25pm
I’m feeling really down about how few words I’ve gotten done. I’ve had several hours with it today and only have 2,214 words to show for it. My head aches, I’m hot, I’m tired. I was hoping to give a really good boost to my NaNo total during this marathon session but I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near the way there. I think when I’m feeling like this it’s better to put it aside for a bit. Time for a good long break. I’ll see if I can chase down my car and go let my Muse ponder over today’s work before I settle in to it for another 2,000 words tonight.

10.05pm
Decided I’m not going to shoot for another 2,000 word tonight. I’d really like to, but after the day I’ve had (I even managed to fit in some work on my Uni assignment) I’m just fried. It’s already too late to make it an early night and it’s even later to make a start on 2,000 words. I’ll just have to work that much harder at the Write In tomorrow.

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