NaNoWriMo Day 4

9038 / 50000 words. 18% done!

Well, the girls in the basement weren’t too obliging in the next scene, I think possibly because it’s currently too boring, which saddens me, but that could be fixed in a very violent rewrite.

So I read through Chuck Wendig’s 250 Things You Should Know About Writing, which I think of as the 100-level courses for his series of writing books. Or at least, I assume that’s what they are: they have a base-like structure to them. Half of it is advice I’ve heard before, 25% is advice I won’t take (like not revising through the first draft; but he does have the right idea in keeping up momentum, I just like to add more than notes to stabilize some of what went before so that I don’t trip up later), but the other 25% is quite valuable for me to learn. And if you’ve never heard the rest of the advice before, this is an excellent set of course to take for a mere $0.99. Big bang for your buck.

To fill out word count, I had a character party—essentially what Wendig refers to as a “test drive” of my characters, to get a better feel for them. I don’t think I’ve got them down quite yet; the antagonist is too moustache-twirly, but I’ve decided to let the Inuit taboos (murdering your spouse would be one of them) tone down his vengeance arc to merely dismantling one of the protagonist’s life, possibly bullying him into suicide or an equally unwise decision. No one wants to be punished by Sanna for disobeying taboos unless they have a death wish or something.

I really need to take more advice from Wendig and get the tentpoles of my plot set up—that is, events that absolutely need to happen, like a connect-the-dots. Loose enough so that my exploration of the wilds of the story is still possible without banging up my plans too too much. And my protagonists definitely need a plan to defeat the antagonist; and the antagonist needs a plan to do the same.

And that’s where things lie. The character party was actually pretty intriguing, enough for me to spend over 400 words more than I needed to on it, and might actually see play in my story without the meta-narrative conveniences of “Room of Requirement” and the OOC moments for the antagonist where he’s kind of breaking the fourth wall. I might actually develop a sympathy for the guy, even if I don’t agree with anything he’s doing—he, of course, doesn’t see anything wrong with what he’s doing. To him, he’s just bringing a wife under control. Which I think is despicable but obviously he doesn’t, and neither does his cadre.