Sunday, November 8, 2009

NaNoWriMo Day 8

I went to a write-in today. What an interesting exprience. I was torn between chatting with people, some I have met before, some I haven't, and writing to get my word-count up. As being social isn't one of my strong points, I chose the latter. It was really good - I wasn't at home so I couldn't be distracted by all the things at home. My seat was surrounded by others so it was difficult to get in and out, so I just had to sit there in front of my laptop and write. I wrote over 3500 words before I left a few hours later. That makes something like 4200 for the day so far. I'm going to spend another hour this evening on it. I'm looking for another 500 words to get over my personal target for today. I think I have the scene forming in my head so it should work.

I'm a slow writer, probably because I don't plot very well. I can't seem to see what will happen next unless I have what has happened before mapped out. I know it will need some serious editing before it's good but one scene has to be on paper before I can move onto the next one. I can't even visualise the next one until the previous one is done. That slows me down.

I'm enjoying this book, although I enjoy all of them when I'm writing them. It's very different to anything I've written before in that it's set mostly in space, in a confined area and the four main characters are tripping over themselves with nothing to do. It's a challenge to make it interesting and not fall into a rut. Speaking of ruts, I'm coming up to my third attack from pirates. I'll have to handle this one differently, make sure the reason for the attack is different from the others, make the stakes higher, otherwise it will read like I'm in a rut. That's the reason I haven't just written the 500 words I'm looking for. I need to get the beginning of the scene clear in my head before I can begin. Once I start, it seems to flow fairly smoothly until I run out of scene in my head, then I have to stop and think again. Sometimes that's 3000 words, sometimes, like last night, it's 200.

Below is today's excerpt from what I wrote today. I'm trying to choose dialogue as it's more difficult to stuff up dialogue and it's more likely to be a little bit interesting. I think it also shows the characters better than exposition. Total so far: 17767.

“Starr. Starr, wake up. She’s doing it again.”
Starr heard the words and groaned. “Who’s doing what, Brett?”
“Freema’s hacking me.”
"I thought you had that under control.”
“She won’t stop.”
Starr pushed himself out of bed, wincing at the tightness in his skin. The pain was better, just an ache in his muscles when he moved. Moving around would help that.
“Alright. I’m coming. Don’t get your knicks twisted.”
Starr pulled on his ‘recovery’ clothes; a soft cotton knit shirt and almost threadbare cotton knit sweat pants. They hung loose and didn’t rub. He’d wear a suit tomorrow. He padded barefoot to the bridge and found Freema sitting in his seat.
He tilted his head, trying to see around the back of the seat, to the holo-screen, wondering what she was doing, or trying to do.
“Starr, make her stop.”
Freema jumped and spun around. If her skin was lighter, Starr thought her face would be bright red. He leaned on the back of the chair. “Watcha doing, Freema?”
“She’s hacking me, Starr. I told you.” Brett interjected.
“I am not,” retorted Freema.
“Are to,” returned Brett.
“You started it,” she exclaimed.
“Did not.”
“Did too.”
“Enough!” Starr exploded. “Jeesis, what’s wrong with you two?” He reached over and pulled Freema’s hands out of the control manacles. He kept hold of her wrists as he turned her to look at him. Her dark eyes were wide, wary. “Freema, this is my ship, not yours.” He thought of revealing that he knew she was a soldier but decided not to. He’d play this cool and see how she reacted. “I don’t know what sort of thing you’re used to doing but on my ship we respect privacy and ownership.” His thumbs circled on the skin of her hands, warm and smooth. “You’re here as a guest, under my protection until we can sort out why those pirates wanted you and get you to safety, but that doesn’t mean you can upset Brett.” His thumbs circled and circled, the warmth from her hands filling him, calming him. “If you can’t respect that, then you’ll have to leave my ship.” He looked deep into her eyes and forgot what he’d been saying. He dropped her hands and stepped back. “Do you understand?”
She stared at him, her hands still resting in front of her where he’s been holding them.
“Freema? Do you understand?”
She swallowed and lowered her hands and her eyes. “Yes, I understand. No more hacking Brett.” She didn’t sound happy about it. “But he started it.”

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