Whenever I hit a day where I don’t do quite as good as the previous day, I feel like I’ve missed my mark, and perhaps this is one of the downsides of NaNoWriMo. In focusing on quantity, a good days writing session, well above your target, still fells like a failure if you didn’t do as good as the day before. This morning, I jumped into Chapter 12 and managed to get through 2,317 words before I ran out of time–with the chapter unfinished. 2,317 words is 317 words above my daily target and some 650 words above the NaNo suggested target. A very good day by any measure, and yet it was some 200 words short of yesterday.
Chapter 12 is the climactic chapter of Part 1 of the novel. Two plots finally come together, told through two different view points, and in this chapter, I did something a little difference. To pick up the pace, the chapter, as it presently stands, is broken into 8 scenes that shift back and forth between the two viewpoints in a kind of jump-cut fashion. One viewpoint leaves off at a semi-cliffhanger, and the other picks up at that cliffhanger from a different viewpoint. Fun to write, but it slowed me down a little, and in fact, I couldn’t finish. I ran out of time with about 2 scenes left to complete. It is for that reason that I titled this entry “morning session”. I’m thinking I’ll come back to it at lunchtime today and finish it off.
Chapters 13 and 14 are on the downhill side, wrapping up the loose ends and emphasizing those threads and subplots that will play an important role in Parts 2 and 3 of the story line. The threads that run through the story are the complicated part, and trying to keep the tension high makes it even more difficult. To illustrate what I’ve been trying to do, without giving too much away, I’ve put together the following diagram which describes the narrative arc of Part 1 of the novel. (Click on the image for a larger version.)
The thick, red line represents the narrative arc over the course of the 14 chapters in Part 1. The higher the line goes, the more of an increase in tension until things come to a head in Chapter 12, which is what I was working on this morning. The color coding of the chapter lines represent the major viewpoint character of the chapter and a dashed line represents multiple viewpoints. Underneath the arch are three lines that roughly illustrate the narrative arch for the three major subplots that unfold in part 1 of the novel. This is what I am trying to achieve–I think. Whether or not I’m successful at it is something that I’ll worry about in January when I begin the editing process.
If I do finish up Chapter 12 at lunch today, you can expect a second, “afternoon session” post later on today.
Here are today’s stats: