Halfway There and I Can’t Hardly Believe It

Hello everyone, I’m writing again already! Two days in a row! Magical!

Haha I just wanted to follow up on NaNoWriMo and actually let you guys know how it’s going.

(Is it just me or is the WordPress post editor font bigger than before? It’s driving me nuts.)

nanohalfwayAs you can see, there wasn’t much smooth sailing in the first part of the month. Fortunately, I’m back on track now and looking forward to keeping those bars climbing higher and higher towards the finish! Unfortunately, I’m running into the Halfway Concerns…

I’m concerned I’m going to run out of things to write about. This is unusual for me. I normally have a hard time keeping my novel near 50 000 words and have to spend time after NaNoWriMo writing the rest of it. But this year, for whatever reason, the story seems to be wrapping up earlier than usual. I feel as though I could end it within the next 10 000 words or so, leaving another 15 000 to go. That’s not good.

So now I’m wondering what to do about it. Part of me feels like I’m just overreacting and I’ll find there’s actually a lot more to wrap up. The other part of me suspects that part of the problem is I’ve run out of outline. I had an outline written up for the first half of the novel, but now I’m high and dry without anything but a vague idea to guide me forwards. Perhaps this is what’s making me feel like there’s not much more to write.

But if I break it down, there really is quite a bit to do:

  • Flee to the next city to find someone who knows how to hunt witches
  • Face off against the witch, fail
  • Characters part ways, main goes home but finds friend’s fiancé
  • Minor character snaps and threatens to sacrifice the witch’s target
  • She is confronted by her fiancé, falters
  • Witch steals soul of target
  • Characters flee, have tense conversation
  • Pursued by witch and former friend
  • Strategically split up
  • Witches face off
  • Main faces ex-friend
  • People almost die
  • Victory in the end
  • Happily ever after

And would you look at that? Suddenly I’ve got an outline! Magical!

Haha, so hopefully that will be enough to sustain me to the end, or else I’ll have to resort to throwing in random characters and events to try to stretch the plot out some more. Nobody wants that ;)

My other concern is that this book I’ve written is not what I wanted it to be. I was intending this to be more of a kid’s book, but… I like writing heavy material, apparently. Not that it’s bad to have more serious material in a kid’s book, but I feel like the way I’m writing it is kind of heavy. I’m not sure if I’m happy with it or not. But then again, editing is something you do after NaNoWriMo, so I shouldn’t be worrying about that yet.

The important thing is that I’m getting the words down, I’m writing out the story, and I now have an outline! All very good things. Plus, it’s been great hearing from the NaNoWriMo-ing community, including those here on WordPress.

TJ Edwards is blogging daily with writing stories and inspiration, and is cruising along at a very healthy 40k already! Airlia on Loquacité is doing NaNoWriMo as well, and posting daily quotes and pictures to keep us all inspired. Some other blogs who are participating but are much quieter about it (they must be hard at work writing!) are Nirvana’s Pocketful, Adventures in Writing, and Proseia, and of course there are the ever-wonderful daily Nanotoons!

Before I go, I shall leave you with an excerpt of the novel where The Witch is introduced, since you guys helped design her. I hope you enjoy!

I was half-dazed. I’d been forcibly knocked to the ground by the rubble pouring into the common room and now struggled to stand again. The screaming was much louder now, coming from inside the inn and out on the street, and it was topped off by a beastly, inhuman screech. People were running everywhere, stumbling over bricks and beams and pushing each other in a desperate frenzy. I wasn’t breathing. I was sitting up, I was watching everything, but I couldn’t breathe. I didn’t know what was wrong. With me, or with the inn.

Reyon was on the floor though, lying a short distance away from me, blood running down the side of his face. He growled and stood up, a blade in each hand, and went running towards a—

I nearly passed out. Oh gods. Gods, no.

The beast was enormous. It towered near the ceiling with a body made of all manner of horrible forms. It walked on the four legs of a bull, and it had four arms on its torso, four human arms bulging with muscle. But it was covered in bristling fur, as black as a bear, and its face was like a serpent, scaled and narrow with fangs and slitted eyes, and a writhing beard of snake heads. It was real. This thing that was tearing my inn apart was real.

And it was a witch.

“Hunter, Hunter!” I heard my name being called but couldn’t tell where the sound was coming from until Hang grabbed my arms and pulled me to my feet. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders and brought me back behind the bar. Thatcher was yelling at people, her voice cutting loud and clear over the screeching, and directing them out the back door. They were listening to her, evacuating. Hang grabbed my face, made me look at him. “We have to go,” he said urgently. “Are you okay? We have to go.”

I didn’t even know what was going on, but Reyon was trying to fight the witch, and there was no way he’d win. I tried to tell Hang but I couldn’t say anything. He was looking in my eyes, and saying something, but I felt like I’d gone completely deaf. I wasn’t deaf though. I could hear the screaming.

Thatcher came over and yelled in my good ear, startling me. I snapped back into focus. “We gotta get out of here,” she said clearly, and I nodded. I inhaled, dragging air into my shuddering lungs. My body still felt broken. I didn’t know what was wrong with me.

We started running to the door, but there were people still upstairs, people screaming, and Thatcher faltered. She told us to keep going while she helped evacuate, but Hang wouldn’t let her go. So we all stopped, and while the other two ran up the stairs, I clung to the banister for dear life.

I couldn’t… I didn’t know. I didn’t understand what was happening. The witch… it was surreal, seeing a beast so terrifying in person. Everyone knew witches were real, but knowing they exist and seeing them in person are two very different things. People started coming down the stairs and the sight of them—of normal people, of people who trusted me, who relied on the inn’s hospitality—made me think more clearly. I pointed them outside, made sure they knew where to go. I helped carry a small child and supported an elderly man, and then Hang and Thatcher were flying down the steps two at a time and screaming for me to get moving.

That was when I heard the crack, and the deep, rumbling groan, and the entire upper floor of the inn came crashing down like a tsunami.

I really like the word “falter”, and man, “writhing beard of snake heads” was just plain fun to write! :P

That’s all for today. Have a good night :)

-Alex

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7 thoughts on “Halfway There and I Can’t Hardly Believe It

  1. Okay, now, I have a major problem… When is this story getting published? that excerpt is a big tease :(
    Other than that, looks like you’re doing great, I just passed the 32k this weekend (No one can say I had a lazy Sunday :) ), and I can’t wait to get to the next phase in my novel (My MC is going to die again… Or maybe not.. Not sure yet)

    That outline sounds great by the way, keep it up :)

    Good luck to all NaNoers out there.

  2. Alex! You’ve jinxed me! I’ve dried up! Just teasing! Thanks for the link to my blog :D you’re a legend! I’m still sitting at 40k so tomorrow I need to crack out the focus whip and get back on it. Hopefully, I can write 5k words a day to hit 50k for the 20th!

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