Saturday, November 7, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 7

I've written every day for a week. The last two days feel like I've been unravelling my small intestine to get words on the paper. What I've been writing is absolute rubbish. I keep forgetting particular character quirks and have to go back and try to make them sound the same all the way through. I also have absolutely no idea where the plot is going. The really worst part is that the really good interaction between the characters, particularly the computer with separation anxiety and his pilot, has gone flat. The moment my pilot was beaten and raped, I lost it.

I'm still ahead on the daily word count (sitting around 13500 words) but that's the only good thing happening with it today. I'm going to a write-in tomorrow. With a bit of luck some interaction with real people and other writers (I mean both, not either/or) will help me work out not only where the plot is going but how to get there in the most interesting way. All the pieces are in place, I just need to know what to do with them.
And just to bore people to tears, I'm putting another poorly-worked extract below.

His wrist beeped. The sensor he’d set two days ago told him he had nine hours oxygen left. He stared at it, willing it to change. Grimly he released the belt and floated off the bridge. His suit, in the forward hatch, would give him another three hours. He settled again in his seat on the bridge, the legs of his suit snugged under his thighs and jammed the torch into one of the drive manacles. Across the useless control desk the blackness outside ate at his sanity.

After some time, he realised that one thing on this ship did still work. He retrieved the torch and shoved in between the manacle and the gauntlet it secured so the beam shone on his face. He lifted his wrist and tapped in a code. The small square screen flashed green, then a face appeared on it.
"Hey, Momma,” he said, smiling even as more tears burned his eyes.
“Nalen!” His mother’s face turned away. “Papa, it’s Nalen.” She turned back to him. “He wants to see you too. Rogan, go get Papa. It’s Nalen.” Finally she settled and looked at him. Went silent. “What’s wrong?”
“I was just sitting here and thought I’d give you a call, that’s all.” His voice was as even as it usually was, betraying no emotion.
“Nalen Lonnar Pedrig, don’t you speak to your mother like that. I can tell when something’s wrong so you just tell me and we’ll save a lot of time.”
The screen on his wrist band split and his father’s face joined his mother’s. “Nalen boy, it’s good to see you. I told Momma you’d call and let us know when you’ll be arriving. It’s family day soon.”
“Hey Papa. I just rang to talk for a while. I won’t be coming home.” He wondered if they heard the finality of that statement the way he did.
Silence greeted him. They did.
“Where are you? We’ll come.” Momma’s voice had gone still and quiet, just like his.
He shook his head but couldn’t get the words out.
“How long?” his father asked, sitting on a chair and pulling Momma with him. They didn’t know exactly what he did for a living but knew he faced danger every day. That was the reality of space travel.
He sucked in a breath. They were there for him, just as they’d always been. He wouldn’t be alone. “Twelve hours.”
Momma gasped, smashing a hand over her mouth to mute the sound. When she lifted it away, she was calm again. “What happened?”
“I ran into some pirates.” He huffed a laugh. “I managed to escape just fine but they hit me a few good ones. Directional control was gone. I crashed onto an asteroid which managed to destroy everything the pirates didn’t. I’ve tried everything but there’s nothing left to do.”
Their breathing was the only thing Lonnar heard for a long time then his Momma sat up straighter and patted her hair.
“Mother Meecham down the road was telling me the other day that the farmers were having trouble selling their crops in town. Old man Goo insists on putting his pigs on top of the hay when he takes it in to sell and punches anyone who complains about the smell.” And so it began. After a while Papa joined in and soon they were all laughing and reminiscing. Gods, he loved his family.

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