Day 8: 2,218 words. The story is just at the end of act 1 and about to ratchet into act 2. The point of no return hasn’t happened yet, but the incident that feeds the point of no return has. It’s happening, like things always do, differently than I expected, but so much better. I realized the moment where my main character makes the decision that changes her life moving forward needed more space around it in a different way than I realized. I thought the biggest piece of this moment was going to be the lie she tells because of it, forgetting that the moment itself needed a lot more space on the page for her to go through. It’s delayed the lie, but the main character needs that. She needs space in these relationships and in that moment to establish why she does what she does and how these characters are going to be in these spaces with her moving forward. It’s a little clunkier than I want it to be, but that is a job for revision. The job to get it onto the paper in its raw form is done and it’s going to work really well to build on.
Day 9: 2,050 words. This book. I really thought I knew what it was going to be, and as much as it is, it is also something on a whole other level than I was prepared for. It is that sweet story I thought it would be, but there is this very raw, gritty, nothing held back truth to it that can’t be held back too. There have been more than a few moments, especially in these last two chapters where I have thought that it would be too much to put out there, but my main character has invited the reader into her head, and she is sharing a whole lot about her situations than I thought she would be comfortable sharing. Writing that though, thinking about what’s going to happen to her, I realize why she is this way. What sharing like this now and feeling everything the way she is will mean to her then. Part of me feels like I am whipping around the corners of this story, the momentum carrying it forward and me white-knuckling it, trying to keep up. It’s not leaving any time for reflection, but that’s ok. I’m here to tell my character’s story. I’ll take the time to sift through all of the implications of it once I’ve completed that job.
Day 10: 2.041 words. Today was a little bit of a breather for my main character, in that most of what happened was for her to react to and not driven by her decisions. Mostly. She was forced to sit with some assumptions she had based on what was told to her and wonder if those things were truths. She also showed some relationship tension with a family member that we haven’t seen yet and it defined a lot of how that relationship is going to play out moving forward.
Day 11: 2,066 words. Today’s chapter/scene unlocked a core memory I haven’t pulled apart in depth in decades. I pulled from one of my favorite activities as a kid, something the main character also enjoys, to give life to a thing that she does and it was actually a lovely little interim to float in.
Day 12: 2,023 words. Two important things from today. First, this main character is making me realize things about my self from my younger years that, had I been more self aware about, would have helped me understand why I did things the way I did much more clearly. Perspective, you sly creature. Second, this draft reminds me just how much a first draft is made for revising. I literally wrote, ‘she felt strongly’ and then did a mental facepalm before moving on so I didn’t lose my next thought.
Day 13: 547 words. I really hit burnout and was feeling exhausted when I sat down to write. I basically set the premise for the chapter and finished out the carry over scene from the chapter before and then found a good place to stop.
Day 14: 1,468 words. I finished the chapter I’d started yesterday and then, much as I wanted to dive into the next 2,000 words I should have had done by today, needed to step away. This week has really done me in and I am feeling the strain of the word count, the subject matter, and where I’m about to go with the story. I’m reaching the halfway point of the story and, much as it has gotten dark and we’ve seen some struggles for the characters, it is NOTHING compared to what is about to happen. I’m hoping to start the week by writing the 4,000 words I need to write tomorrow to be caught up with where I thought I’d be and then take a minute to get my bearings before diving into the rest of the week. But that is for tomorrow. Tonight is for some hot tea, a warm fire, and a show to lose myself in until then.
Total Word Count: 26,717.