Salt :: Week One

CN13wk1 copy

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


About sarahgracelogan

Sarah Grace is an itinerant scribbler and general layabout. She runs a writing group called CAKE.shortandsweet, because any form of procrastination from actual writing is always attractive to the serious author of refined taste. When not distracted by laser pens, Sarah Grace writes novels, short stories and flash fiction, poetry, stage scripts and screenplays. She has performed her work at Stirred Poetry, Bad Language and Tongue in Cheek Manchester. Her first publication, Humping the Boonies is a self-published chapbook available directly from the author, or from Travelling Man, Manchester. You can find more details about her ongoing projects, not to mention a selection of free stories up for grabs right here on her blog. She also likes to talk about theatre, film, books, photography, and especially games and other things that involve collaborative storytelling. Sarah Grace likes feedback, in whatever form it comes.

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