Hello friends! Today I come to you with a report on week two of Camp NaNoWriMo, the supposed slump week, with a personal update on projects. I can safely say that the second draft, first full rewrite of TTYQ… certainly is getting written.
The last I post I hashed together was on catching up. Well–I’m here to say that I’m still catching up, and adjusting my game plan accordingly. Turns out, some months you can crank out 50k words, some months… maybe not. I adjusted my word count just this last weekend. We’re going to try for 40k and see what happens!
I’m a bit sad about it, I won’t lie. But sometimes you do need to take into consideration that life happens, and writing may not get the time or energy allotted to it. And boy, golly, life sure is happening lately. With a new job on the horizon, a trip come and gone, events still to plan and lessons to implement, it’s been a busy little while for this wee dumpling of a writer.
With that said, I’ve had some really exciting successes! One of the things I hoped to do in this draft was expand, expand, expand. Two of my three beta readers for the first draft both said that they wished there was more–more setting, more events, more of the characters, more everything. Which makes good sense, given that the first time I wrote this draft, I was thinking it would be a part of a book, and take up a total of about 20k words.
It doubled that count in the first writing of it, and even so, it had holes. I had a reader say he couldn’t see anything surrounding the characters. He had only the barest idea of what the main characters looked like, and had no idea about their environments.
Fair enough criticism, though slightly terrifying, for someone like me, who is so character-centric that I often don’t think very closely about where things are taking place, and just what my places look like.
However, I like to think that I’m getting there. For your consideration: a wee excerpt from TTYQ.
The eastern façade, however—this is the place to where the courtiers made their brief trek, and where too the majority of the blooms were destined to be. The scene is lit not only by the light of fire. Silver rounds polished to a mirror shine sit beneath the lamps, reflecting their glow outward into the crowd. Upon the castle walls stretches immense swaths of white fabric, tacked with roses. Around the archway, gathering at the curtains of white, at each banister and every column… Every surface that can support a rose does so.
You can’t see me, but I’m doing jazz-hands. Look at all that setting description, which was expanded off of a single sentence that I found in the first draft.
I’m pretty darn excited about where this is going. To give you an idea of just how much has been added to this draft (which may eventually need to be cut down, but hey, we’ll see)… Consider this: the prologue in my first draft came out to 900 words. In the second draft? The prologue clocked in at just over 3,000 words.
At the point I am at now, story-wise, was coming in at about 5k words in the original draft. To that same point, I have written about 12k–more than doubled the amount of words needed to get me from the beginning to this particular arc.
It’s a lot. It’s intimidating, and I spend a lot of time having to hype myself up to re-write this. But I am actually pretty pleased with how it’s turning out.
I still have words to write today, but my hope is to hit about 14k total before the night is out. I am slowly catching up, after all–and though it is slow-going, it is rewarding work. New and hard, but really, really rewarding.
Before I go, I’ll leave you all with another short excerpt for your consideration–on the theme of persistence. From the perspective of the titular character, herself:
Brynn rolled her lips unhappily. “I hope you’re not going to ask me to slow down, Larimer.”
“Because I won’t do it,” Brynn said. “The court’s got one thing right about me, and it’s that I’ve so much to do—I won’t say too much, not yet—but I can’t afford slow down.”
So here’s to it–to plowing ahead. Don’t slow down–keep on keepin’ on!
‘Til Sunday, everyone!