Summary: Holy buckets! I will be honest with you, I almost didn’t make it. Week 3 had a rough start of it—I hit so many of the difficult transitions all at once, PLUS work kind of ramped up on me, since we’re leading into the Thanksgiving holiday, coming up here soon. But, by jingo, I made it! I survived—and I AM STILL AHEAD!! For The Win, I’m not even kidding!
Tuesday: Grrr—Blah! Busy day, only about 500 words written, which is the smallest amount I’ve had all month! But, let me tell you, that 2-day lead is STILL in effect, and I’ve STILL got a bunch of time to make up for these rough days, and stay ahead so that I can STILL finish early! Today on the “Conflict Radar” is not only the difficulty between Ben and the Amazon Neyri—building up to when she reveals about the Japanese soldiers trapped in the space with them—but also earlier in the story, where I need to finally paint the picture of the brewing split between Ben and his dad—due to fictional schedules and timelines being what they are, I need to find some way to keep the characters from absolutely taking off at each others throats until the NEXT day, when reality surfaces—but how to take a phrase like “they avoid each other” and actually write it out so that the characters DO seem like they are passively (or actively) avoiding each other—how to do this? I mean, there are only so many places they can go. I do have an idea of how to make it work—now I just need to keep myself motivated enough to write it!
Wednesday: YESS. Successfully achieved tomorrow’s word par, so now all that remains is staying ONE day ahead, until the Write-in on Saturday, when I can really let loose and do my best to have a fantastic “make-up” day like I did last Saturday. Still gunning for being able to FINISH NaNoWriMo in the 5-day break I have around Thanksgiving! (Which will likely be more of manically writing on alternating days over that whole time, since I know for sure Thursday and Saturday I will very likely not have ANY time to write!)
Thursday: Still a day ahead! I made it to 30 thousand words by the skin of my teeth, let me tell you. I just feel like I need to get these chapters 4-7 DONE so that I can just move to the furthest point I’ve written and just continue on from there. The skipping around really worked back when I had a BUNCH of words to make up, but anymore it’s just making more tedious work, since I’m finding more and more places where references to previous events would really develop the characters in the conversation—but they are events and conversations they haven’t had yet, because I haven’t reached that point in the earlier chapters. Good grief! These characters are ending up wonderfully unique and very distinct, though, which helps a LOT in crafting a scenario with multiple perspectives. Ben is really inquisitive, but also obsessed with reconnecting with the rest of his group, Edith doesn’t entirely trust Justin, but at this point he’s the only familiar thing she has, so she’s kind of showing her “weaker” side by clinging to him more and constantly second-guessing herself. As for the parents, Hank is more interested in the wealth of exploration this (apparently) deserted corner of the world affords, while Frank is just mad that he’s so dependent on his two “inferior” friends, and Janet is just more irritated, the longer they wander. Of course, it won't be long now till the moment at which they won't have to wander--because the Amazons will take them captive and force them to march to whatever kind of area they use to keep prisoners in. (I still have to decide what it will be... On the one hand, a cage is always highly useful, and rather public so they might not like that very much; on the other hand, I'm also picturing kind of a deep pit... but how to get Frank and his wounded leg into a pit...)
Friday: Tee-hee… So this was not a very “productive” day, per se—but I was already a day ahead so in my opinion, any amount of progress I made on this day would still be contributing just as much to finishing early as ever. I reminded myself that the more I wrote today, the less I would have to write to get MASSIVELY ahead on Saturday! I’d planned on getting all my chores and stuff done in the morning, or at least soon enough that I would be able to actually arrive earlier than 2 o’clock, so that would give me plenty of time to just write for at least a minimum of two hours. My goal is to have chapters 4 through 7 DONE by the end of Saturday. As long as I can manage that, I’ll be good for the rest of the book. Here goes nothing! I am so excited to be so close to finishing!
Saturday: HALLELUJAH. I had seriously the BEST day of writing I’ve ever had this WHOLE month! THREE THOUSAND WORDS just in this day ALONE! I finally finished that bothersome Chapter 4, and while the middle got a little muddled, as far as finally getting Justin, Ben, and Edie all together while sending their parents off in separate directions, it all culminated in that one shell-shocking scene where Janet discovers exactly why Justin looks so familiar… PLUS in the later series of chapters, most notably Chapter 10, which was originally devoted to Ben being revived by Neyri and she would be very forthcoming about the Japanese platoon that is trapped along with the mermaids… You know, I tried stretching that scene out as long as I could, I tried coaching Ben with obvious leading lines and pressing questions, but Neyri didn’t bite. So then there was that part that was originally on Chapter 9, where my notes just said “adults are captured by another tribe”… but the way that chapter turned out, Edie and Justin kind of took up the whole word count with their own issues and whatnot, so I couldn’t exactly transition as well as I expected to… BUT turns out it fit so much better at the end of chapter 10 because Ben kept mentioning and wondering about the parents anyhow, so to then transition to focus on them after that whole thing made a lot more sense. Well, then, since I needed to finagle a reference to the Japanese anyway, and the tribe that’s going to capture them is by far the most aggressive… It just makes sense that an aggressive tribe trying to catch a group of adults unawares would decide to use a wounded soldier (whom they hate, anyway) as bait, right? So there is Chapter 10 finished, and I am SO READY TO BE DONE, IT’S NOT ALL THAT FUNNY ANYMORE!
Sunday: Another day… and I’m STILL two days ahead, and only now I have finished Chapter 10, instead of Saturday like I thought I would. (That’s the trouble with writing these updates “live”, is that sometimes I can assume too much about the strength of my motivation… oh well!) At least now I can say that it’s done for sure, and the three parents are well and truly captured, and everybody’s tucked away where they’re supposed to be. (Oh, and by the way, I went with a pit under a gently-sloping entrance; of course it knocked Frank out, but at least it didn't break his leg!) There was even some time today where I decided I wanted to use some Japanese phrases—but, Google Translate being what it is, I wasn’t getting the right translations (I thought) so I hopped on Facebook and asked the NaNo group, and somebody responded with almost the same replies I was getting from Google Translate (but when I would try to back-translate, take the Japanese text and feed it back through to English, the translation was all messed up, so that’s what scared me! Good to know I can still use it with impunity and hopefully it won’t confuse anybody!) PLUS this was the day that I started Chapter 5, so I think what I can do is pull back and focus on finishing up the big gap of chapters 5 through 7 over Monday and Tuesday (because, being the only two days I work this week, I am pretty sure I won’t have time to do much write, just like last week) and then when the holiday begins on Wednesday, I can resume on Chapter 11 and away we go! It feels so good to be so close to the end.
Monday (Today): Huzzah!! I made Wednesday’s word count, and I made it through Jan’s account of her and Frank’s relationship! That was a bit of a sticky conversation to have, so many details and emotions to deal with. Because Edith has always known Jan to be the “serial girlfriend” and she’s seen plenty of boyfriends who end up dumping her mom for stupid reasons, or she ends the relationship because the other guy is treating her unfairly—but in this case, the guy is Justin’s dad, and Edith has always considered Justin to be fairly harmless. Her mother’s reaction to the sudden reappearance of Frank seems to indicate otherwise, and Edith needs to figure out if her trust in the Dillards is misplaced. It took several unexpected turns, but I think it came out all right, and it definitely set the animosity in motion—I’m going to have fun writing that out tomorrow! Meanwhile, I am fairly certain that I will actually manage to successfully complete the 50K by the end of the week, and then it’s back to writing all the projects I’ve had to set aside to focus on this one! (Maybe after some other projects are finished, I will come back and finish this one off, but until then, I don’t mind taking a little break and revisiting some of my old characters!) 40K HERE I COME!!
So, coming up next week… It’s the home stretch! Join me for the helter-skelter race to the finish line, as I wrap up my LAST 10K right in the thick of the holidays, and revel in the joy of finishing off chapters 6 and 7 at long last!
Catch you Further Upstream!