This was the toughest week. I fell behind for the first time on Monday, because I spent most of the day and half of the night driving to Winnipeg and back for a meeting with my critique group.
It was worth every minute because I got an awesome suggestion for writing a whole new opening for Avians. (Avians of Celadon is complete, but unsold.) If I can pull it off, I’ll have gliders, airships and conflict all on the first page.
Thought about that on the drive home, and made comprehensive voice notes on my smart phone.
Tuesday, I was badly behind and seriously short of sleep. I managed about a thousand words, which left me floundering along to maintain par. I was forcing myself to write in the afternoon and evening, rather than my preferred wee hours. Then I hit a bad stretch.
I was working on some middle-of-the-book stuff that wasn’t well planned or extensively visualized before I started. I painted myself into a corner, making it impossible for Raven to get the help and supplies she needs to carry on. I checked my outline, to try and get back on track, and found the outline vague and contradictory.
Then winter arrived, and I had to make time to change tires on Saturday. I struggled to keep up, with hopes fading for regaining a lead. I ground out words as I left Raven struggling without relief. Denver, her would-be savior, shows up empty-handed. I wrote some dull expository dialogue.
Today, I went for a long walk and decided to throw Raven and Denver into the fire. Now the bad guys are in pursuit, and a deadly obstacle blocks their progress. Boom. Over 2100 words today, putting me almost a thousand words ahead of schedule.
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a pretty clear idea of every scene to come as I head into the climax, and a good idea of how to handle the resolution.
Bandits of Celadon is going to end like The Empire Strikes Back, with the heroes in disarray, struggling to pick up the pieces.
It will lead perfectly into Caravanners of Celadon, the third book in the series. Believe it or not, that book was only a title before NaNoWriMo 2015. Now ideas are starting to flow. Flood, even.
So this week has been harsh. I’ve put in long and sometimes miserable hours. But I ended in a good place, and next week will be fun.