Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Halfway done for NaNoWriMo

I hit 26,500 words last night, thanks to mom taking a nap in the afternoon and "Dancing With The Stars" ending at 9pm. This section deals with Brendan being interrogated by the RUC (Royal Ulster Constabulary) because they think he knows who set off a bomb that killed several people. I'm only partway into this and have little more than a vague idea of how the rest of it will play out; I was thinking we were headed for some extreme brutality as the cops work to break Brendan's silent treatment...but it's shifting, again, surprisingly so, because Brendan's the one pulling back and saying, Wait a minute; this might be too much for me. So I await his writing orders.

Most of what I've written, so far, is set in the third part of the book. I have a couple chapters of parts one and two done, each, but don't have as clear an idea of those sections, yet. I mean, I do know what needs to be in there, but I'm beginning to see repetitions that I don't like. Well...that I'm not comfortable with. I'm willing to let them sit, for now, just to see what happens as the book plays out, but they're smacking me as just a bit too lazy and easy and that is not where I want "Place of Safety" to wind up -- casual fiction.

I remember reading "The Woman In White" by Wilkie Collins back when I was deep into my classics phase. It's a long, LONG book about a conspiracy that's way too easy to figure out and really kind of silly, at the end -- and since Collins was being paid by the word for his writing, he used a LOT of them even when unnecessary -- but they lead up to a singularly elegant moment nearly lost in all the expansiveness. The hero thinks a young woman he knew died while he was out of the country, and he goes into this long detailed explanation of his attachment to her only to end with the simple phrase, "I loved her." And it was heartbreaking in its contrast to the verbiage. And then as he's visiting her grave he sees her walking nearby and the counter-effect is electrifying. I actually found myself holding my breath. Then the book got back to its silliness and I returned to slogging through it, but this time I was hoping for another moment of grace like that one. Didn't happen.

Still it stuck with me and I want POS to be filled with moments like that. Not ALL of it -- that would be just as tedious; I want the ebb and flow of it, like waves upon a shore building as a storm approaches. But I'm being impatient. This is something that will come once I have a first draft and can see what is comparative, what is informative and what is merely repetitive in Brendan's story.

It'll be interesting to see how long this book winds up being.

2 comments:

Brad said...

You don't explain your blog title of being halfway done. It's only the 11th, so you're not halfway through the month yet. Is it halfway through your word count?

JamTheCat said...

You only have to write 50,000 words to meet the challenge for NaNoWriMo.org so I'm more than halfway through for that. The book is looking like it will be longer, but I don't need to complete it to "win." I need to complete it for me and for Brendan.