Word count: 6600
Target word count today: 10,000
Just under a week into Camp NaNoWriMo. The start of the week was pretty promising. I got a good chunk written over the first two days, even though I didn’t know much about the characters or the story I was beginning. I think that writing the first few chapters of a book is a lot like getting to know new friends. You know a bit about them, but not how they’re going to react to situations or how they might feel about things. You have a general idea, but they constantly surprise you. All kinds of events and people pop up that you hadn’t expected to meet, and it takes a little while to settle into a rhythm. I think this might be why the first few chapters of a lot of published novels are often the most worked on, sometimes wildly overwritten. It can be easy to overcompensate when you’re trying to bring the start up to scratch with the rest of your book.
I’ve already had a few surprises just in the opening couple of chapters. I had a suspicion that my main character was gay, but an unexpected rival presented himself early on in the book, and through him, a wonderful way to develop her sexuality in a subtle, slow burn way. I’m still struggling to get a handle on Salt (MC) and her mentor, who accompanies her (I think) through a chunk of the book, but I’ve no doubt after another 10,000 words or so, I’ll have a much better sense of them both. I’m not the sort of person who can sit down and craft a complex character from scratch. I need to test them out through my writing; throw them into situations and see what happens.
Now, what you really want to see, an excerpt:
Salt breathed in, and felt the city breathe with her.
The rock walls hugged her close, warm and abrasive against her bare arms. The gangway had collapsed as she stepped onto it, the quake building to a roar that collapsed the narrow corridor around her. She was trapped. She wanted to scream for help, but there was only a small, miraculous pocket of air around her face. It was impossible to tell how long the air would last, but it wouldn’t be much. Salt wanted to scream, but swallowed the terror and forced herself to take a slow breath. If someone came looking she would hear them; for now, it was best to save her energy and her air.
I’ll be back next Friday with another update! For now, I’ve got 3500 words to write.
Keep up with my progress on Camp NaNoWriMo