Apparently "Week 3" is synonymous with "slack off." Because that's mostly what I did this week.
In NaNoWriMo's past, Week 3 has been, for me anyway, the final slog after turn you a corner and see civilisation in the distance. You still have a few pit bogs to deal with before you get there, but at least it's there, in sight, so close you can almost touch it. This is usually point where I start sprinting ahead. Not so with NaNo '13! And I have a theory as to why.
All my previous NaNo efforts have been fairly easy to lock into around 50,000 words. I knew that, as soon as I reached that magical number, the story would be over and I could spend the next four weeks recovering. But the story I'm writing this year is huge and it isn't going to be anywhere near finished at 50K. Which means this isn't Week 3 of 4. It's just Week 3. And that's really hard.
Which is not to say that I don't want to write the 50K in four weeks! I would still dearly love to do that and it's still the goal but as of this morning, if my calculations are correct (and they may not be, given my poor mathematical ability), I'm about 3000 words behind! Which was a shock, seeing as I went into the last two weeks ahead!
Last Saturday, I only wrote 500 words (but I put that down to being tired after the first meeting with my new workshopping group and an hour long round drive); on Sunday I wrote nothing. But then on Monday I wrote 2 full days worth of words. And I was going to do the same on Tuesday, but I woke up still tired from the day before, so I only wrote one day's worth instead and figured I'd do it Wednesday. Except on Wednesday, I ran into another worldbuilding problem, which my brother solved only to create a bigger problem, and I only wrote a couple hundred. On Thursday, I was going to do two sessions to make it up, but the second session never happened and then, while I'm in the confessional, I wrote nothing again yesterday. *sigh* Look, honestly, it could be worse. Because most of the days this week, I didn't want to write anything at all but I forced myself into doing it. Really, it's a miracle I'm only 3000 words in debt, instead of 10,000.
So am I going to catch up? I want to say yes and I'm really going to try but I can't guarantee I'll make it happen. This is my last week of leave and then I'm back at work next Monday, which should be incentive to write as much as possible before I go back, but it's so exhausting actually doing it, that I really want to just spend the week relaxing instead.
On a positive note, while I was actually writing this week, I discovered that the character I thought was going to be a minor villain is actually a friend! And not only that, he's super fun to write and he has great chemistry with Melanie, so let's put a big tick in the smiley face column!
I wasn't going give you a sneak peek this week because I'm not particularly happy with anything I've written, but there is actually one scene that I like so you can have that.
See you next week (hopefully at the 50K pretend-finish line)!
32529 / 50000 words. 65% done!
The boy who followed her into the lift was the one from the other day, when she had been brought to the Order to speak to Balthazar. Caleb, she remembered from the visitors register; his mother had been there too, talking about how her son had to be a Warlock because he’d been having dreams. So Caleb was new too then; that was good. Maybe with two new apprentices she would draw less attention.
Caleb made no secret of staring as they rode the car down to the dining hall. “So you’re the woman,” he said as she watched the numbers. “The Witch.”
So much for that then; she was the gossip item even for the new kid. She couldn’t even begin to imagine how the actual Warlocks were taking the news of her arrival; the news surely would have spread by now.
“Yes,” she said, clearing her throat and reminding herself not to be intimidated. He couldn’t be more than seventeen, which made her almost ten years his senior; she refused to be intimidated by a child. “I’m Melanie Harwood. Mel.”
He eyed the hand she held out to shake until she withdrew it hesitantly, wiping her palm down the leg of her pants.
“Are you new here too?” she asked, even though she already knew he was.
“Yes,” he said, turning away from her and hiking his bag up higher on his shoulder. “And under duress too.”
“Duress?” Secretly she was impressed; not many of her students would know the word even existed, let alone how to properly use it in a sentence.
He nodded shortly. “You think I want to be here? I was captain of my school’s football team until two days ago. I had a girlfriend. Everyone wanted to be friends with me. And now I’m here, a freak. No football, my girlfriend dumped me because she says I’m a freak now. I didn’t want to stay here, but they told me I have to, otherwise the demons will lock on to my energy or something, and be more likely Cross over in proximity to me, which puts everyone I’m around in danger. And if I stay here, I can learn how to defend myself and them. As if I care. As if I couldn’t handle myself anyway. So here I am.”
He repeated the last part dryly and with much eye rolling, as if he didn’t believe it was true, or thought they were overreacting.
The doors of the lift opened at the first floor and they disembarked, passing a Warlock who was going back up and who stared, eyes wide, at Mel, who forced her mouth into what she hoped was more a polite smile and less a grimace of distaste.
“They’re not wrong, you know,” she said to Caleb, who had set off with longer strides than her own, leaving her to hurry to catch up. “Sure, you might be able to figure out how to hurt a demon if you were faced with one, but it’s not that easy. They’re strong, fast. Without the proper training, they could overpower you in an instant, football captain or not.”
He turned and eyed her with interest. “You sound like you’ve had some personal experience with that.”
Mel nodded. “The other night a demon Crossed over when I was alone. I fought it off well enough to get away, but I had no idea how to banish it and if a Warlock hadn’t shown up when he did, the demon would have been possessed me and I’d probably be dead by now.” She could tell he was impressed and trying not to show it so she pushed on. “Most of the Warlocks I’ve met seem pretty content with being here. Maybe the more you learn, the more you’ll warm up to being a Warlock yourself.”
Caleb rolled his eyes and turned back to enter the dining hall. "So you're going to be out little ray of sunshine and positivity. Awesome."