Zachary had a bit of a rough night last night and so I didn’t get to sleep until 1:30am. Even then, I slept on-and-off until about 4:55 when, bleary-eyed, I finally got up and came downstairs. I poured a glass of orange juice and then sat down in front of the computer and got started on Chapter 3.
I surprised myself in a couple of ways this morning. Tired as I was, I thought I was going to slog through the session this morning, barely making the 1,667 word pace. I needn’t have feared. I hit 1,700 words just after 6am, passed my 2,000 word goal around 6:20am and I finished up the morning, completing all of chapter 3 which came in at 2,504 words. For 3 days in a row I have consistently surpassed my mark.
I also surprised myself this morning by making my first significant divergence from my outline. That is to say that while the chapter followed what I had outlined, it became much more of an action scene than I expected and the events that took place were not events that I’d covered in the outline. And while they got me to the same place, I think they gave it more depth and realism. And also some possibilities that I hadn’t considered. This is one instance where the character in the scene is smarter than the writer of the scene.
I’m still not writing great prose, although this scene was less of a sketch than the others. But as I mentioned yesterday, I am now seeing how this works, getting the ideas down on paper in a way that sounds like a story and then coming back in the second draft, once you know how everything goes, and reworking it into a thing of beauty. However, there were a couple of places where I felt like I’d written some halfway descent lines. I’ll supply just one example:
And now they were all dead, their blackened bodies frozen in some kind of horrible rictus.
They might not be in there after all, she realized. If the hull was breached by the explosion, as was likely since the hatch would not open, they may have been pulled out into space, seven new satellites for Pluto, a dark menagerie of moons temporarily guided by Charon around the dark waters of space.
It’s not Shakespeare (or Malzberg or Kornbluth or Bester) by any means, but I was pleased with the lines.
Today’s session puts me at 7,261 words for the first 3 days, more than 2,200 words above NaNo’s pace, which means I could miss a full day and still be ahead of schedule. I don’t plan on missing a day, however. Tonight, the writers group is having a NaNoWriMo writing session and I’ll be there. I’m still debating whether I’ll add to the novel or work on the short story. I’m leaning toward the latter.
Here are today’s stats: