22 Nov 2015

NaNo 2015 - Week 3

The third week is over.  The Elf's Prisoner had some problems.

The Stats:
  • Words Written This Week: 10 760
  • Words Written Total: 34280
  • Chapters Completed This Week: 9, plus one interregnum.
  • Chapters Completed Total: 26, plus two interregnums.
  • On-screen Deaths This Week: 6
  • On-screen Deaths Total: 12
I hit the doldrums this week.  Typically, somewhere between 25 000 and 30 000 words is where I lose steam.  The story stalls out, either because it went in a direction I wasn't expecting or I get too caught up in the details.  This year, the characters got restless and wanted to skip past the journey to get to a trade town.  Once they arrived, the words returned.  For two days, though, I wrote just one day's worth of words.  Coupled with Fridays being too busy with socialization and transit time to do any writing, I fell two days off pace.  Fortunately, yesterday was productive, with almost 3000 words written; not enough to catch up completely, but I am within sight and one or two days worth of productiveness to get back on track.

I did wind up doing some ad hoc world building.  Each culture is getting its own naming convention.  The elves are receiving modified Polish names.  Human names are coming from Cymric, Pict, and Irish cultures*.  The villain's name comes from Ancient Rome, modified to be more sibilant.  I have three goals here.  The first is to have names that don't sound like a collection of letters pulled out of a Scrabble bag.  Unless the language I'm using/abusing has glottal stops indicated by apostrophes, there aren't any.  The second is to have names that feel like they come from a culture, even if I haven't created those details.  Artificial depth still looks deep.  The third goal is avoiding impromptu world building when I should be plugging away at the story.  I don't need, at least during November, to waste time working out minor details for one paragraph when I should be writing that paragraph and more.

Breaking through the doldrums involved more than tossing a guy with a gun**, or, in my case, six goblinoids with spears, at the characters.  While the goblinoids did let me get some words down, it took me a night's sleep to realize they had a clue on them.  It took me a second interregnum and the arrival of the characters at their destination to pull out of the stall.  Ms Fanservice helped greatly; a nude elf makes for a wonderful distraction and an interesting discussion about cultural norms, along with requests for her to cover up.

This coming week's goal is simple - catch up.  Eight days and over fifteen thousand words to go.  I need 1965 words per day right now to finish on time.  I've done that pace before, and I have scenes coming up that are needed and have been playing out in my head.

* As seen through the King Arthur Pendragon RPG.  Never discount useful sources.
** Raymond Chandler's advice for when writers get stuck.  The idea is that first the characters need to defend themselves from the attacker, then try to figure out who sent him, which means the writer needs to work out that same detail.  The proper phrase is, "When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand."

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