Thursday, 23 October 2008

The pressure mounts...

Day 7 of 45 in the Buta challenge has scooted past and current progress is something of a mixed bag. I've slipped behind on word count - 6,100-odd words in that week, when the target was 1,000 a day. Not good.

However, there is a flip side. On Monday I was envisaging setting Quackenbush, the young adult book, to one side and revisiting The Manx Giant. But there was a change of plan. As I couldn't stop thinking about Quackenbush, I kept going. I've upped the overall word count to 56,000 words, and the good news is that I'm further on with the plot than I'd thought.

I'm just finishing an important scene, which sparks the action into gear and sends both the good guys and bad guys racing towards the climax, and after this is finished, there are just two more major cliffhangers left to write, with the final three thousand words or so already done and dusted.

So, I'm thinking that maybe another 10-15k will polish it off, which is a bonus considering that I was estimating around 25-30k. That said, I could be wrong. Tangents are forever appearing, and I ain't ruling anything out.

Talking of tangents, I had a real buzz tonight - I've killed off a strong supporting character, when I wasn't expecting too, and another minor supporting character has survived, when I had him lined up for an early bath.

It is fascinating the way both a plot and characters develop with each key pressed - I've had folk (non-writers) say to me: "What do you mean you killed a character that you wanted to survive? How can that happen? Surely you know how characters will react in a particular situation. It doesn't make sense."

Little in writing makes perfect sense, and the beauty of writing is that you never know what your characters are thinking, or what they will do when pushed, until it's out of your head and down on screen/paper - even then you sometimes have to do a double take at what you've created.

Looking ahead, tomorrow will create more problems - we're out for pizza after work with some friends and respective broods, and then visiting family, so it's unlikely I'll find the time to claw back the word count I've lost.

However, the weekend is almost here - all being well, I'll be back on track by the time Monday arrives, which will be important - I have to go away next week for a couple of days, and there will be little or no time for writing.

And I must get back to the Manx Giant. He's getting lonely, and not a little envious of the time I'm spending with Quackenbush. Like your kids, you've got to love your characters evenly. Otherwise they sulk and refuse to come out to play, and then your word count is well and truly stuffed.

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