Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lights and Ends of Tunnels

So, another day of NaNoWriMo has come and gone. It’s been…quite an interesting day with it, too. I really did not want to get out of bed this morning; in fact lately I never want to get out of bed. I have so little energy no matter how much I sleep. I’ve been off and on sick since I got to Australia, mostly with some sort of sinus/chest infection, but it’s never been all that bad. Just congestion and I find at night it can be a struggle to breathe. But the lack of energy bothers me, mostly because I don’t enjoy my walks like I normally would and I tend to only ever get halfway through a Zumba DVD before I have to give up. And considering my constant battle with my eating habits, this is not happy-making.

Still, I knew I had to do some serious writing today – and I did. I’m very happy to report that I not only managed to get through the most difficult (penultimate, in fact) chapter of Greywater, I actually managed to finish the entire first draft. It weighs in at around 166k, which may be a little on the heavy side, but I do know there is some serious pruning to be done. I didn’t bother much with that sort of thing while I was blitzing through the draft because I knew there wouldn’t a heck of a lot of point to it, but there we are. DONE. …sort of. I know there’s a lot more work to be done before I can even think of querying – I need to find someone to beta it for me, for starters! – but it’s a massive weight off my mind.

I suspect I’m going to miss Círa and Otho – not to mention Arosek and Ryenn, and then Sabin and the others, too. But it’s really kind of funny; I started working on the manuscript last Tuesday (it being Wednesday today), which was the 25th of October. It’s the 2nd of November today. The manuscript’s wordcount was 118,575; today it is 166,457. That’s 47,882; I basically almost did NaNo in a week. That’s got to be some sort of record. I’m more impressed, though, that I finished the bloody thing. I’ve only finished two other manuscripts since I was fifteen; one was For What We Drown, but the second half is so terrible it requires an entire rewrite before it can even be dreamed of as a query-worthy novel. The other is The Neverboy, which is an odd little beastie. It’s a kid’s book, and in fact follows on from Greywater. Given Greywater’s ending segues straight into sequel-territory, I rather suspect I’ll have to rewrite it from Círa’s POV. And then maybe publish it one day as an accompaniment. Why do I do these things to myself?

So, there we are. Tomorrow I move back to Hibernaculum, which I was last seriously working on in 2009 for NaNo. Maybe twenty or thirty thousand words are required to finish it, but much like Greywater I just struggle with the ending. I found writing the ending of Greywater interesting anyway, but I’ll explain that in the rundown. I’m already looking forward to getting into the story again, though. All my characters are very close to my heart, but these ones? Have been in there since I was thirteen. I’ve tried to write stories with them ever since. My first ever completed novel at fifteen, The Pool of Reflection, was about Luchandra and Zurin. It was terrible. I suspect whenever I next find the old diary I wrote it in I will cry for how clichéd and melodramatic it was. Then again, I suppose I’ll feel considerably better if I have a proper novel about them to replace it with…

NaNo progress notes, 02.11.11

Number of words committed:
Total words: 12,725
Total goal for the day: I kind of hoped I'd finish the whole thing, though to be honest I would have been happy with that damned penultimate chapter. In the end, I got both.
Reason for stopping: I was finished with the novel. 'course tomorrow I start all over again with the attempt to complete Hibernaculum (and it may not be for the best that my tired mind just tried to write that as Hobonaculum...).
Favorite line: I complained yesterday that I can't write action. Apparently today I decided if I was going to do it, I was going to make dire use of a childhood of Stephen King novels.

“I’m sorry.”

“Don’t be. I’m happy to die with him.” Her single good eye still held dark intelligence as she looked at him, sheened as it was with agony. “Thing is, Major Earth-Child, are you going to be happy to die here?”

“Not really.” And even though he knew there was no reason for her to tell him a damn thing, he said: “What’s going on here? Is the Sarinian army engaging yours?”

“Oh, no.” This time when she laughed, a dark mass popped out of her mouth and landed at her feet. She regarded it with as much interest as she might a tiny spider, and then squinted at him. “Probably shouldn’t tell you this. But she loved you, and he loved her, and I’m just a romantic at heart. You need to get the hell out if you want to live.”

“You make it sound so simple,” he said wryly, and before he could think: “Seems to have worked a treat for you, too.”

“Don’t make me laugh, my liver might fall out,” she returned, but from her pallid expression and the white-knuckled position of her hand, he didn’t think it was hyperbole.

Surprises, pleasant and un-: I knew when I went back to the penultimate chapter today that I was going to have to do a lot of work to make it reasonable, as I had realised last night that the politics of the story made no fucking sense whatsoever. Honestly, I was in despair of drawing the threads together. Much to my surprise, it worked -- partly by channelling Stephen King as I mentioned, but it was also because one character totally did things I did not expect and made my life easier. I thought she'd bowed out earlier. But she came back, and I adore her stupid right now. Even though she's kind of dead now. So much for gratitude on my part...?
Character I most want to slap right now: NO-ONE. I WANT HUGS FOR ALL.
Mean things committed: Well, Laaveh really copped it in the end there.
Unexpected research: Not much, actually. I was in the Zone.
iTunes reads my mind: I just ended up putting various things on repeat, actually. Sheryl Crow's cover of Begin the Beguine was the most important, but I also had Enigma, Emma Shapplin and the soundtrack of Red Planet going there. It's all good. And at least part it is over. <3


  1. How how how do you write so many words? I've reached the dreaded middle of my story and it's slow going...

  2. I actually tend to find the start and the middle the easier's the endings that do my head in. I just can't deal with them for a variety of reasons, but if I'm towards the middle of something i can write rubbish for hours. Then I get to the end and it all comes to a screeching halt...