Salt :: Week Three


Word count: 44,000

Target word count today: 38,000

I was feeling pretty daunted when I opened Scrivener on Monday morning. I’d been ill all weekend and unable to write for three days, which left me just over 5000 words down. That was a scary feeling, knowing how much I had to catch upon, in addition to all the other writing-related things I’ve got myself into. Luckily, I finally had possession of a lovely Camp NaNoWriMo t-shirt, which when worn seems to provide all kinds of extra inspiration previously unheard of. On Monday I wrote 6000 words, and on Tuesday I dragged and kicked myself through an insane 10,000. I’ve never written that much in one day before – I think my limit in November was about 7k. So, yeah, by Tuesday night I was feeling pretty smug. Tired, but smug.

Those two days were also a rollercoaster, as over the course of them I ended up killing off two pretty major characters. I hadn’t planned to kill either of them until just a couple of thousand words beforehand, but as the time approached, it just seemed necessary. Of course, it did lead to people saying things like this to me:

Me: My hands hurt from typing 😦

‘Friend’: Well if you would just stop killing people, maybe you will get some sympathy!

A lot of stuff happened this week that I didn’t expect, including the appearance of two new characters who, it turns out, are going to feature heavily in the sequel. Hey, guys! There was also some romance which took all of us by surprise; myself and the characters involved. I’m relieved that I managed to get so far ahead, because I’ve been ill again this week and I’m working all weekend. I’m really hoping for another productive Monday/Tuesday, to get me almost to the end point. I’m fairly confident that I can wrap up the story in the next 18,000 words.


For now, I’ll leave you with another excerpt:

On the second day, they found their way blocked. A flash flood had wiped out the bridge that forded one of the heavier parts of the river, and neither of them was ready to risk the crossing on foot. They had lost many in the days before the bridge was built; the river flowed sharply down at this steep part of the mountain, and the riverbed was deeper and more treacherous than it appeared. The nearest crossing would take them almost half a day out of their way, and Graze felt his stomach churn in frustration and worry for their missing companions.

“We’ll have to move fast,” Calista said in her ever-reasonable tone, as she turned from the wreckage and began to pick her way downriver, away from the direction they’d seen the smoke the previous evening. Graze felt the unusual sensation of panic rise in him; he was stoic by nature, and Calista had raised him to think with his head and his intuition, rather than relying on emotion.

“We have to cross,” he said, aware that his voice sounded agitated. “We have to get over.”

“I know, there’s a crossing further down.”

Graze shook his head. “No, we have to cross here. We can’t lose any more time.”

Calista followed his eyes across the innocent-looking water to the remaining struts of wood several metres away. “No.”

“We can’t afford to wait,” Graze said. “They don’t know how to survive on their own, not in this weather.”

With a sigh, Calista looked up at the sky. It remained heavy and grey, mirroring their mood. Calista was typically quiet, but Graze could sense her disapproval lingering through every instruction, every look, even the set of her head and the motion of her stride. They had spent almost every day of the last twelve years in each other’s company; he knew her well enough to read her thoughts and feelings.

“I can go on alone.”

“Over my dead body,” Calista said, turning to him with a furious look. It made him flinch back, so unused was he to harsh words from her. “I would have thought if this journey had taught you nothing else, you would at least have learned the absolute necessity of staying together.”

If you’re just dipping in now, have a look  at my previous updates! Planning  ::  Week One  ::  Week Two


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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