I'm up to nearly 12,000 words spread over 5 different areas of the story, so far. Life keeps trying to interfere -- and has done a good job of it, today -- but I wrote until nearly 1am last night...where Brendan takes Joanna to Griann an Ailech for the first time (they have to sneak across the border and cut through muddy fields to do it, and fall in love as they go) and I'm still working on that section.
In a slightly different fashion to my normal way of writing, I've worked up both the opening and ending chapters of the book, so I know how it begins and ends and just need to get from here to there. I didn't do that, exactly, with "Bobby Carapisi." That one, I also wrote bits of it all over the place but didn't have my ending until everything else was done. Then it fell into place.
With my three books of erotica, I just let the characters lead me from A to B to C and on, and they turned out surprising, even to me. And my scripts, I usually have an idea of what's where, how and when once the characters are set, but I leave it flexible enough to change without any concern...which worked beautifully with "Blood Angel," since my initial thought was to have Tristan kill Gabrielle -- but neither one of them liked the idea and lead me to the ending the script now has and is better for it.
But "Place of Safety" -- I'm forcing myself to listen to Brendan, and he wanted me to know both A and Z and have me trust him for the rest. That's half the reason I backed away from the project for so long. I initially thought I'd have him wind up an architect -- major symbolism blast here, a man trying to build in a world being destroyed -- but he cut that idea out the first time he spoke to me. Instead, he's just a lad with an ability to fix cars who wants nothing more than a wife and kids and a way to provide for them, and begins to build that sort of life as a mechanic until fate comes along. And that's the way it's going, because that's all that seems to work in the story as I write it. Which is rough because I don't know anything about that kind of work. I'm playing it safe and using my old 1965 Volvo 122S for him to work on, first, because I used to do things like rebuild the clutch and replace the fuel filter and set the twin carbs and rebuild the drum brakes, but that's it. The rest is research.
I do desperately want to go back to Londonderry for a week to 10 days to dig through the library and archives of the times. It looks like Brendan's found a way for me to do it in January or February, so long as I have the first draft completed by the 30th. Nothing more about it till I know for sure...but having this drop into my lap now, when I'd asked for it...that makes me think I'm meant to write this book and get it out there, no matter what.