We're about to reach the end of Week 2 of NaNoWriMo for 2010.
How are you chugging along? Still with us? Still sane? Or just getting started, perhaps?
We heard a lot about Week 2 being the hardest week, for a variety of reasons, and though I don't know what weeks 3 and 4 will hold, I think most of us can agree that Week 2 was no basket of cherries. We all kept on advancing from where we were last weekend, and Rachel and I both broke the 30,000 word mark. But compared to the pace of the first week, we all had a slowing down (with the possible exception of Susan, who is gunning it).
Here's the week's wrap up from each of us at All The World's Our Page.
I didn't see it coming, though in hindsight I certainly should have- a daycare virus that wiped out my toddler for six days, and at the end of that six days, came for me, too. My word production for the week dropped from 18,000 to 12,000, and more than half of that came in one day- Thursday- when I had a blissful day off work, with no child.
At this stage, I look like racking up four zero days in this week alone.
And yet I'm still sitting on 30,000. How about that? This, I think, shows the immense value of getting out of the gates, fast, and building a good strong buffer. Taking the chance to write when you can, because you never know when life will get in the way on other days.
As an adjunct to writing so fast, of course, I've gone face-first into a plot wall that I just didn't see coming. It's going to occasion (sob) another huge shift in the story, and it's giving me the same stomach-squirmy feeling I got earlier in the year when I decided to let Len live. But look at how well that turned out. My problem at the moment is the speed of it all. I'm rocketing through so fast that I have to consider the ramifications of this plot shift right now- RIGHT NOW!- and my brain has gone into screaming hysterical mess mode on me. I'm actually glad I've hit my second forecast zero day, baking and decorating a detailed cake, so I can catch up and work out What Comes Next.
Okay, my snippet for the weekend. This is the start of what's likely to be the new first chapter of the whole shebang.
It was a perfectly ordinary morning until Len walked in and declared war.
He banged through the screen door, bringing with him a gust of rain-tinged air, and slapped the newspaper down as she turned to face him. He had his arms folded, one eyebrow up. The same deadly glare they’d been giving each other for a fortnight.
She planted her hands on the other side of the kitchen table, forgetting her half-finished scones, and glared at him. “What do you mean?”
His eyes were glacial. “Can’t read, teacher?” He flicked the newspaper with his fingers. “What is says right there. We’re in. And I’m going.”
She glanced down at the broadsheet, folded open to the news pages. Big, bold letters glared back at her, and she read them out. “European War. Germany Challenges Britain. Dominions support the motherland.” She looked up at him and repeated the rest. “Australian troops mobilising.”
“Mobilising. That’s me.”
Something like panic hit her in the chest. “You can’t.”
He unfolded himself, stretched to his full height. Sunlight streamed through the window behind him, lighting up his hair in gold. “What’s to stop me? You?”
There was flour all over her hands, halfway to her elbows. She wiped them on her apron. “Don’t be ridiculous. You have responsibilities. The crop is almost in, and…”
“Bugger the crop.” His voice was hard as flint. “It’s not mine anyway, is it, thanks to dad. And I’ve got nothing better to do.”
If only he’d been wrong about that, but it was true. “That doesn’t mean we don’t need you here.”
He moved fast, as quick as she’d ever seen him at full-forward, ducking around the corner of the table before she could take two steps back, hemming her in against the stove. “What do you care, anyway?”
She stared up at him, forcing herself not to look away, even as his eyes burned into hers. “I care about the farm. This place. I care about your family.”
His hand came up. Brushed her cheek. “And me?”
She hardened herself. “I don’t care what you do otherwise.”
His fingers lingered for a moment before he smiled and turned away. “Then it’s settled. I’ll be off tomorrow.”
She watched him go, stalking across the room. When he got to the door, she called out after him.
“Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why…”
He stopped. Turned, slowly. She made her way across the room, met him halfway. Searched his face, pushing down the anger. “You could be killed. It’s not a game.”
“I’m not afraid.”
No, of course he wasn’t. It was out before she could stop herself. “You’re too stupid to be afraid.”
He laughed. “You’re the expert.” He turned away again.
He spun back. “Maybe I finally decided to listen to you. Maybe it’s time I went away and never came back. Maybe it’s time I went and died in a hole.”
Her own words stung, coming back at her. “Maybe it’s time you grew up.”
“Oh, I’m all grown up.” The bluster was back as he swaggered over. “I can show you if you like. Or…” He clicked his fingers in the air. “I forgot. You’d rather I’d never existed.”
She was summoning her breath to give him a serve when the door banged open again, and Bill came in. They both turned to look at him at the same time, and he stopped, halfway through kicking off his boots. “What?”
The tension in the room was thick as jam. “Nothing.” She let out a breath, brushed her apron down. Went over to him and kissed his cheek. “How’s it looking?”