Monday, November 14, 2016

NaNoWriMo 2016: Week 2 Recap!


*For the recap of Week 1, Click >>HERE<<

Summary: Week 2 is in the BAG! A lot more writing time this week than the last one, and I am proud to report that I have successfully maintained the meeting of my word goals each day! A quick note about the promise of excerpts that I made… I was all excited to do that, I really was… And then the next day I promptly changed my mind. I do kind of want to save the actual story itself for the Wattpad edition, I think. So last week was all about “How To Get Writing Done Without Losing Your Job”, and this week, I think I’m going with a “Character Focus”!

Tuesday: Week 2 launches, and I really want to keep my lead, so what better way to do that than by just skipping ahead and writing the part that I’m excited about? That’s right, the “un-excerpt” that spawned this whole idea has now become part of the official Amazon Triangle narrative! Whereas the first time around all the action was in first person, with very little context, now I needed to go through and figure out how the actions of the story flow into and out of it. I decided early on that my poor victim would, of course, be Ben—as a matter of fact, right about the time I wrote this scene for my Suggestion Box series. (Which is also how I decided on his name, incidentally!) So Ben gets separated from Justin and Edie after they had already split up from their parents, because the three healthy, younger people had a better chance of reaching the shore quick enough to attract a rescue vehicle, than the older adults, what with Francis getting badly wounded in the cruise accident and all. (which I haven’t written… all in good time!) Anyway, he gets separated, the caiman goes after him, and—well, I guess you’ll have to read it when I post it on Wattpad if you want to find out what happens, right? It’s Chapter 8, just so you know.

Wednesday: And Chapter 8—the chapter with the caiman attack—is finished! Justin and Edith are off running in the jungle, while Hank, Janet, and Francis are making their slow and tedious way to another part of the coast, heading at an angle so that maybe they’ll reach it sooner. I also rambled my way to the end of Chapter 3, the chapter introducing Justin and his somewhat tenuous relationship with his father—and also the second mention of the cruise that is the central inciting moment to kick this story’s action level into high gear. Everything you know is about to change, and you’ll find yourself questioning reality, when the beginning had seemed so much like a straightforward romance—complete with ex-lovers and romantic intrigue, as Justin only recently figured out that Edith’s mom might have been a former girlfriend of his dad—which Edith herself didn’t know her connection to Justin, just that he was a good friend of the guy she happened to start dating, after they got along so well in a math tutoring scenario. Of course, once this information is out, the three friends decide not to tell their parents; out of the three of them, only Hank and Francis have ever met, and even then, Francis made a point of not keeping in touch, as a silent disapproval over the way Henry thinks and functions, and a preference to keep the friends that meet his approval. Neither of them know that Edith is Janet’s daughter, and Francis has all but forgotten about Janet in the ensuing years—but the cruise is coming in the very next chapter, and all the “status quo” is about to change very drastically!

Thursday: CHAPTER 3 IS FINALLY DONE!! Man, I was so hyped up with the caiman side and Ben’s whole “first contact” thing going on that it was almost a real struggle for me to then go back to the “introducing the characters” portion and try to deal with actually INTRODUCING Francis Dillard in the plot. But I did it, and that’s done. Know what else I got to do in Chapter 3? Write in a co-worker. That’s the risk of being friends with a writer, people! She told me she wanted to be in my novel—but she didn’t want to be somebody who died on the cruise ship crash. So I made her the PR manager for Francis Dillard and his company. It worked very well; made her British, gave her a Lincolnshire accent (because I’ve heard the difference and I think it would sound cool with the actual voice of my coworker!) and the same sort of professional-grade snark that my coworker has! She is the one person who dishes Francis’ pushy attitude right back at him, and he trusts her enough to let her boss him around, because she really has his best interest at heart, and she wouldn’t tell him to do things that wouldn’t be for his benefit. If he gets snippy with her, she gets snippy right back, and still manages to remain calm and professional about it. So much fun. (If any of my other coworkers are reading this… I guess you’ll just have to read it on Wattpad to find out who it is! You will know instantly when you read the name; I hope she likes the portrayal!) Forward to more words!

Friday: Grr, I feel like I just can’t move forward with Chapters 4 thru 6 (namely, “The Cruise”) because I just don’t have enough information on how a cruise actually works! What my characters could do, where they could actually go—I’d like to not have to BS my way through the WHOLE novel if I can, and actually have some fact-based stuff to work with when I formulate the context for all the relationship tension that is going to happen (two words: NUCLEAR FALLOUT) but it doesn’t look like I’ll get that luxury after all. Meanwhile, I went and pegged away today’s word count in the form of Chapter 9, a somewhat mundane “filler chapter” between Justin and Edith. I guess I wanted to give myself an opportunity to delve deeper into those two characters, after letting Ben have the spotlight in Chapter 8… But it isn’t quite going as smoothly as I planned. Bugger. I just feel like the whole chapter is the equivalent of “Words, Words; Lots of Words” just to get the word count. Speaking of word count… I TOTALLY NAILED 20K A DAY EARLY! Man, I knew Saturday was going to be fun because I finally got a full day ahead of schedule! And with as successful as I have been this week, the rest of this month is shaping up to go so smoothly, and for sure I will finish early!

Saturday: OH HOLY BUCKETS!! So first of all, a HUGE thank-you to Ryan Howard for pointing me to the Cruise Stories site, which is basically a travel blog that contains anything and everything I would ever need to know about cruises to be able to write this story! I now have a better idea of where my characters will be staying (for example, the tickets that Edith won with the writing contest will probably be the cheap ones, in a “porthole cabin”, whereas the Dillards would well be able to afford a nice, stately suite with a balcony) and more specifically the kinds of things they will be doing, and the sights they would see on the ship. (Since SPOILER they won’t necessarily get the opportunity to get off the boat before everything goes sideways!) and also to my new “assisfriends” (Dirk Gently reference… even though I didn’t find the pilot all that compelling IT’S DOUG ADAMS OKAY??) Julia, who happens to be ON a REAL CRUISE this week, and Wendy, who actually worked on a cruise ship some 30 years ago… They have been TREMENDOUSLY helpful in giving me LOTS of useful information that has done WONDERS for my ability to write these chapters!
PLUS, I was able to finish up Chapter 9 (woohoo! FIRST CONTACT actually goes to Justin and Edith! Even though, probably, it’s happening simultaneously with Ben’s experience—but as far as the plot goes… oh, this was fun!) which means a total of OVER 23K, and I have only finished 5 out of the 20 chapters planned! That’s some good writing, right there! The fact that I successfully cleared another word par a full day ahead in only one morning of writing, means that I will most likely be able to get TWO days ahead over this weekend… which bodes well because I know that the closer I get to Thanksgiving, the busier I will be! Whoopee! Writing on!!

Sunday: Great Googly-Moo! I did it! 25K achieved—and exceeded! It feels really good to be so far ahead, it does! Suddenly there isn’t so much pressure to get ALLOFTHEWORDS in for the day, and I know that whatever progress I make in a day will be just fine, and the rest can be left for the weekends, where I get super amounts of writing done! Wendy is now a character in my novel, a super-helpful cabin steward who does a great job at putting Janet and Edith at ease. So now everybody’s on the boat, though just now, the Morrisons are merely references, I haven’t actually honed in on their POV yet. I figured they would be the sort (especially with Ben coming along) to arrive at the docks earlier than all the rest, since it would be very important for Henry to be there, even if Ben doesn’t really want to. The trouble is, as soon as I finished the scene with Edie and Janet, motivation to continue the chapter immediately dropped—so instead, to continue to make up the word count, I just wrote out the notes for the rest of the chapter, instead of forcing myself to write the whole thing out when I really didn’t feel like I wanted to. It worked! So there we have it. I also did a little bit of Ben reviving in the company of an Amazon who is more sympathetic toward humans, by the name of Neyri. Carnossus is like her “cat”, even though Carnossus is a gigantic panther (like the size of a pony—big enough to ride on!) and also the one who rescued Ben from the caiman. Fun times!

Monday (Today): Okay, I don’t have much time to write today because we’re having company over this evening so I need to help my mom, but I at least got a little bit in, just trying to write out more of Chapter 4 from the notes I left myself, and proceeding on the scene between Ben and Neyri Fun times! The fact that I have 5 completed chapters and 2 half-chapters brings the total to around 6 chapters, and half the word count in the bag already—so this begs the question: how close am I going to be to finishing it all by the time 50K is completed? I know I’m probably not going to have much time to write after Thanksgiving, and there’s no telling just how excited people are going to be to see it on Wattpad—I mean, if I don’t get a lot of views or votes on the chapters I have already finished (at this rate, it could be as much as 12 chapters… incidentally, as many parts as the Clan of Outcasts, which very few people seemed willing to feedback about…) then what’s the point of pushing myself further? Especially when technically I should probably be getting back to the projects I put on “hold” to be able to work on this one: Commander’s Courage, Merely Meredith, The Water-Man… You know, I’m actually surprised that I’ve been able to write so much with the material I have for this particular project. All through the planning stages, I thought I was good with the 20 chapters in my plan, because if I allotted 2500 words for each, that would bring me to 50K words total—but then Chapter 1 ended up more like 3500 words, and that’s been the average for each of the chapters, so I guess that means I underestimated the average size of each chapter. That’s a good thing, right? Oh well—I guess my question would be: who wants to see me finish this? Would you rather see more of the other half-projects return? Lend me your opinion!

Hope you enjoyed this glimpse into the inner workings of some of my current scenes. I’m thinking next week, I’ll be mostly dealing with the scenes containing a lot of “Conflict Exposition”, so that, I think, will become the daily theme for my recap! Hope you enjoy it! (P.S. Interested in seeing some of these “older works” that I refer to in my recap for Monday? Just click the hyperlinked text, and it will bring you to the excerpts from each title! Hope you enjoy those as well!)