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I very nearly forgot to blog today. I plead my messed-up schedule (which, thankfully, ends in a couple of days, so I can go back to mostly normal.)

Since completing that pivotal scene in BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING a couple of days ago,

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I have finished that chapter, completed two more, and started another. This definitely feels like the downhill slide toward THE END, at least of the first draft. Things are rapidly falling into place.

Then, of course, there’s the month or so of letting the manuscript rest. I’ll probably start the second book during that period. Then a couple of rounds of revisions to whip it into shape. Then another month or so for my beta readers to look it over and tell me what works–and what doesn’t. (During which time I will probably get more of the second book written.) More revisions and a polishing edit.

Yeah. THE END really won’t be the end. But it will be a whole lot closer.

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I Did It!

Not finished the first draft. Not yet. Don’t get too excited.

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But that pivotal scene I’ve been working toward that I always seemed to approach without ever getting there. I wrote it last night.

I ended up not using alternating POVs in that chapter. It was even choppier than having a couple of short, really short chapters.

And I’ve already reorganized the chapters that follow a little bit. I think I’ll likely need to make one more change to that sequence. But there are only a handful more chapters to THE END. (Seven, plus finishing the current chapter, if nothing else changes as I go.)

With any luck at all, I should be able to finish this draft before the end of December.

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Well, progress on BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING has slowed down, temporarily.

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Mostly because I have a weird work schedule for this week and next, which is messing with my usual writing time.

Maybe also a little because this chapter makes me just a little nervous, for a couple of reasons.

The minor one is that I’ve decided I need to split the POV in this chapter, telling part of it from the main character’s POV and part from the antagonist’s. Normally, I use a chapter break to change points of view, but that would make this awfully choppy. And I don’t want that. It’s not that I haven’t split points of view in a chapter before, either, but always before between the two members of a couple. These two definitely are not that.

That’s just a little odd, though. Nothing to be really nervous about. What I’m about to do to my main character, though. And making it work. That’s going to be interesting. Also, I see some research into lightning in my immediate future. I chose that title and the cover art for a reason.

 

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Pivot Point

Admittedly, the last two days haven’t been very productive, writing wise. I had other things that also claimed my attention. ‘Tis rapidly becoming the season for that.

Well, that and the last scene I wrote was a fight scene–and not in the point-of-view of either of the men fighting. I don’t actually think I’ve written one exactly like that before. It required a bit of thought.

Nevertheless, I mean to at least try to maintain the pace I managed over November so I can finish up the first draft of this first book in what looks to be a two-book series. By rights, of course, that turning point ought to be the midpoint–or, in other words, the end of book 1 in a two-book series. But that would leave this book in a terrible cliff hanger. And, in any event, the plot gets more complicated from here, with more characters having their own subplots and character arcs. So it’ll all work out . . . I hope. (First drafts are like that for discovery writers. There’s a lot of hope involved.)

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And I’m finally just about to write that pivotal scene where everything changes for my main character. Just a little bit of putting the right characters in position to get through first. One scene, most likely. And I’ve already got the dialog roughed in.

Forward!

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November isn’t quite over yet, but I can firmly state that I will not have written 50,000 words by tomorrow night. More like half a NaNo (around 25,000 words). So, is that a failure or a success. Well, it all depends on how you look at it.

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I was never officially doing NaNoWriMo anyway. I was using it as an opportunity to instill a little more discipline into my writing–discipline that had slipped over the last months as I’d struggled with the structure of this story. And that worked.

I was able to establish a fairly consistent writing habit. (There will always be those days when not much writing gets done, sometimes for reasons that have nothing to do with writing or the story at hand.) I’ve found a pace that’s challenging enough without being uncomfortable–or, hopefully, unsustainable.

I haven’t finished this first draft, but I’ve brought it up to the three-quarter mark (for the first book). And that’s pretty good in my book. If I maintain this pace, as I intend to, I should have the first draft done somewhere right around the first of the year.

I’ll call that a success.

 

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It’s true even without NaNoWriMo: I always look at a holiday weekend coming up and see more writing time than actually happens. This time it was more true than usual.

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Wednesday, I didn’t do badly. Nowhere near NaNoWriMo winning pace, of course, but not badly. I even got a fair amount written on Thanksgiving. I was only responsible for the pies and, well, it’s possible to get a good bit of writing done while the pies are in the oven. Friday . . . Friday was just one of those low-energy days. After a flurry of work getting the word out on some black Friday sales, I didn’t get much done at all. Saturday was when I cooked my turkey and somehow that always involves being busy most of the day–plus the drama with getting my internet back up. And then I fell victim to the turkey coma I didn’t experience on Thanksgiving.

So, here’s hoping  I can get a good stint of writing in today. Somewhere in there I discovered that I needed to add still another new chapter before I get to that pivotal moment. This time, it’s to solve a problem. I know what needs to happen after that pivotal moment and I was having trouble figuring out how. Because if one of the characters was there when it happened, there’s no way he’d be sleeping that night. And then he couldn’t have the dream I want him to have to set up the betrayal (that won’t feel like a betrayal to him, but will to somebody else). But, if I just move that pivotal moment a little, then that otherwise-sleepless character doesn’t need to be there or even know about it, yet. Works. This sort of thing just goes with being a discovery writer.

Back to writing.

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Adding Chapters

Last time I said I’d probably have to break the section I was working on into two chapters. I was right.

I’m not an outliner, but I do  set up a road map as I work, at least on novel-length stories. For my rare short stories, I’m usually willing just to jump off the ledge and let the story lead me where it wants to go. After all, a short story is only about 1/20th the length of a novel. Much less risk if it ends up not leading anywhere.

This road map takes different forms. Sometimes it’s just a few paragraphs describing the story–almost like the dreaded synopsis. Sometimes, it’s a little more like an outline. This may be only for a few chapters ahead or provide a skeleton framework for the whole story.

For BECOME: TO CATCH THE LIGHTNING, it takes the form of chapter headings through the end of this book. With, perhaps, one or two lines about what should happen or maybe a snatch of dialog.

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Well, that wasn’t quite sufficient for this particular part of the story. Plotwise, nothing much is advancing here. But what is happening is the stakes for my main character are rising dramatically–right before everything crashes for him. It’s important and it needs to be fully developed or that fall won’t have the weight it needs to have.

And it’s not just a question of length–although I generally dislike writing chapters that are too long. It’s also a question of elapsed time. If enough time has passed for my characters, then it probably deserves a chapter break.

So, that’s the chapter I’ve been working on–almost finished, actually. And then I go on to that pivotal chapter where everything goes boom. After that, I hope to be able to make better progress through to THE END.

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