So, my NaNo word count is currently 23,000 (or something around that). But I haven’t done any work on it for the past week for one simple reason: I don’t have the characters ready yet.
I got halfway through Heights and Horizons last weekend; as I want it to be about 40,000 words, and I’m six chapters in and pretty much halfway through my story, that works brilliantly. I’ve also managed to plot roughly what I want to happen next: the second half is going away from Jesse and Huish, and it’s going to follow all of my explorers and my map-makers in the other lands.
However, I’ve got a slight issue. I have some of my explorers already (Moel from Desert Sands, Obak & Iilde from Salt Winds) but I also want to bring someone in from Empty Skies for Tao; I want someone from Ziricon who will appear in Desert Sands. And for those, I need three books finished – Salt Winds (to complete Obak and Iilde’s story), Empty Skies (to actually write my explorer character in Tao) and then Desert Sands, to bring my Ziricon explorer in and finish off another few stories.
So I spent my NaNo meetings this weekend finishing Salt Winds; I wrote 5000 words on Saturday and have the story finished, which is wonderful. It was read by my beta reader (my wonderful Aunt) last week and she had some brilliant suggestions for additional material and scenes, so I’m now a lot happier with the story than I was. It’s a lot more streamlined; the only thing that may need to go into it is more of Obak being a little shit, because at the start, he really is. But at the moment, I’m happy to call it complete.
So, this week is going to be Empty Skies; I’ve got to put the cat amongst the pigeons (or policeman amongst the runaways) which will lead to some very fun writing. That’s likely to take me most of this week and probably my writing time this weekend. After that, it’s Desert Sands again, and then back to Heights and Horizons!
I’m actually not particularly bothered by the lack of progress on Heights and Horizons. Although my words don’t count towards NaNo, I didn’t expect to win (thankfully, as I know I’m a novella writer!) and I just love the writing company and the kick-up-the-ass it gives me. So to get a story finished, and get the kick I need to finish Empty Skies and carry on with Desert Sands – that’s brilliant.
And the final thing that’s making me smile at the moment is that I’m really looking forward to continuing work on Heights and Horizons when I do get back to it; I’ve got some politics, some exploration, some interesting characters – and it’s going to be a lot of fun to write. So even if it does go out of November (which it likely will), I’m still going to enjoy my writing.