Sorry for the delay this week. I have the flu. My husband has declared it a ‘humdinger’ and my brain is mush. I’m muddling onwards as best I can.
Briefly, I’ve just passed 40,000 words (as you can see from the nifty little word count icon on the right) and I’m nowhere near the middle of my novel (let alone the end), so this looks like a first draft which will take far longer than November…how exciting!
My brother has already made his 50,000 and he’s still powering onwards. Yay! (I’m also feeling the nigglings of jealousy but I’m not letting myself dwell on that. I’m competing with a word count, not my fellow writers!)
Please take a moment to comment below and let me know how you’re progressing with whatever writing project you’re working on (NaNo WriMo or otherwise).
It’s difficult to pick an excerpt to share with you as my writing is very rough – scenes peppered with notes for things to add further up. I’ve chosen this little exchange between Edward and Peta as they take a walk along the street together.
Please remember this is a rough draft.
‘What do you think of Beijing so far?’ said Peta
Edward thought it best to keep the majority of his thoughts to himself at this stage, frightened he’d put his foot in it again. ‘It’s interesting. Different.’
‘Overwhelming?’ said Peta, grinning at him.
Edward opened his mouth to reply, but tripped on something and struggled to keep his balance. Looking back he saw a large screw sticking out of the concrete pavement. ‘What on earth is that doing there? Someone could do themselves damage.’
‘First lesson,’ said Peta. ‘Always walk with your eyes on the ground in front of you. This place is a minefield of trip hazards. Screws, uneven pavement, dog poo, spit, manholes without their covers. Keep your eyes on the road.’
‘Manholes without covers?’
‘Oh yes, happens all the time. I’m not entirely sure why. I’ve heard rumours that people take them for scrap metal.’
Edward walked along, looking at the pavement. It was made of up grey blocks, with a strip of light pink, ridged blocks down the side. Here and there the edges of the blocks sat up, presenting the perfect trip hazard. Now that he was looking, he also saw small puddles of spit and other things he’d rather not step in.
‘Makes you realise why Chinese always leave their shoes at the door, doesn’t it?’ said Peta.
This was a something Edward had never thought of before, and he took a moment to ponder it. He also made a vow that these shoes would never make it further into his home than the front door, already dreading the stuff he might have walked through his apartment.
That makes my story (and China) sound rather disgusting, but I swear it’s not! The situation is, however, something one just has to live with here. It’s a truism.
Now, please share with us a snippet from your writing this week. It doesn’t have to be polished, just something which you liked.
Remember, everyone is welcome to join in. You don’t have to be doing NaNo WriMo, and you don’t have to be writing a first draft. Share a snippet of something you’ve written this week and feel proud of it.
P.S. Please take a minute to read the post Obvious and amazing: Sending your creative work out into the world on Carole Jane Tregget’s blog about why we should not delete while writing drafts. It is a fantastic reminder.
November 23, 2011 at 9:57 pm
Wow 40,000 words with the flu! Impressive. That is true stick-to-your-chairness! Unfortunately the only thing I’ve written this week to be proud of is a letter, and I don’t know if my niece would appreciate me posting it here before posting it to her.
Here is a big round of applause for you and others for sticking to it through nano-wrimo.
And I love the man-hole cover part. Makes me feel like I am walking with them.
November 24, 2011 at 8:06 am
Congrats on the letter to your niece. I’m sure she’ll appreciate it! 🙂
I find the lack of manholes extremely disconcerting. It’s a very real everyday hazard.
November 23, 2011 at 10:59 pm
I wrote my first draft thanks to Nano last year. My work this month has been about plotting my novel in chart form. To date, I have charted the 4 main markers of my story (1/4 mark, 1/2 mark as well as the crisis and climax). I have sketched out my protagonist’s goals and created a character emotional developement profile for him. Also created a bubble chart of all my themes to help me writer my one sentence to define the main theme of my story. “In life and death, the way forward involves knowing what to leave behind.”
November 24, 2011 at 8:07 am
So great to hear about all your progress, Nancy! Sounds like it’s been a month very well spent. 🙂
And I love the quote. Where does it come from?
November 24, 2011 at 8:20 am
Thanks – the quote is mine. I wrote it while working on the bubble chart assignment. It’s the main theme (or heart) of my story. Now it’s tacked up on a wall. 🙂
November 24, 2011 at 8:21 am
January 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm
“I can’t STAND her!” The look in Isaac’s eyes was flame-ridden…livid. Jody had never seen him look like that. Truthfully, she wasn’t sure she’d seen anyone look like that. It was frightening. And indecipherable. Everyone loved Roxie. Everyone. She was bright and perky and made everyone’s day just by coming into a room. She had a knack for making everybody feel better. But Isaac looked just short of murderous, and all Roxie had been doing was…being…typical Roxie.
Jody stared at him, standing there, actually trembling with rage. She was afraid to speak…and afraid not to speak. “Isaac?” she prompted, tentatively. His eyes snapped up, and the rage left them, hearing the scared rabbit tone Jody was giving him. He looked down suddenly, self-conscious, and began fumbling with papers on the desk, though he didn’t look as if he really saw them. “What is it?”
“Nothing.” She’d worked with him for two years, and she considered him a friend, though she wasn’t sure if he returned the compliment…but, he always seemed to keep things surface…safe…locked up. She wondered if there ever had been a key to throw away.
“Why does she bother you so much?” Normally she wouldn’t have ventured to ask…but he had left the door open just a crack, and she hoped she might get more of a glimpse before it slammed shut and was securely bolted again. She said the words softly so that maybe the force of them wouldn’t shove the door shut.
He shrugged…rifled through the papers as if he were organizing them, eyes still unseeing. “Hate people who pretend to be crazy.” The words were clipped, quiet – almost as if spoken against his will.
“What’s so bad about that?” Her tone was still careful not to threaten.
One shoulder twitched, as if undecided whether to shrug again. He was quiet for several long seconds, lips bitten together. He still didn’t look up. Jody had a very clear view of his dark curls and furrowed brow, a bit of his lean cheek and jawbone…eyes completely obscured. When his reply came it was still so quiet she had to strain to hear, but it was filled with bile. “They’re mocking the people who can’t help it.” His head sunk further still, and the muscles in his jaw worked themselves furiously.
“Hits close to home?” She knew she was taking a major risk with this one, but she was getting a little bolder. His eyes darted up, meeting hers deliberately from beneath his dark brow, not with anger, but soft and calculating – something between a gaze and a glance. His next words came calm and deliberate.
“Spend a day with someone who’s really crazy. You’ll never joke again.”
January 28, 2012 at 9:26 am
Powerful scene! I especially loved the last line and this line:
“She was afraid to speak…and afraid not to speak.”
It’s such an apt description. An intriguing insight into both characters.
I presume he’s referring to his experience with his mother?