This update should have gone up last week, but I was so busy writing I never got around to it.
Last week my writing exploded, and now I’m at 47,899 words with five more days to go, so I can see the light flashing at the end of the tunnel. Things just started to click, so I’ll definitely make the 50,000 word count and then some. Right now I’m on Chapter 17 of what looks to be a 22 chapter novel, and while the book will still need a lot of dusting and polishing, it’s fair to say that the structure of the novel will be complete as of November 30th.
Last week while I was writing to push the narrative forward, I also spent a lot of time going back and filling in plot holes. I’m a big fan of foreshadowing (here’s my post about it here), and when I’m writing my narrative I like to leave a few bread crumbs so later events make sense. I don’t want to give away too much too soon because then there’s no reason to keep reading, but I’m not a fan of the ‘deus ex machina’ style of writing where all of a sudden something happens out of nowhere. True, that does happen in real life when things seem random, but that’s why I like fiction better than real life. In fiction, I like to make the events in the story logically connected. I want readers to have a sense something is going to happen, even if they’re not sure what, like that sneaky music in Jaws where you know the shark will pop up, you’re just not sure where. Usually, the way I write, I see later in the story what needs pointing to and then I go back earlier into the story and do the pointing.
I love that quote from Chekhov that says if you show a gun in the first act, you’d better use it by the third. I realized the other day that I had an interaction between characters in Chapter 2 that should be important to the story but then I had forgotten about it and never mentioned it again. Now I see that I need to show the result of the interaction later in the story, otherwise there’s no point to the interaction in the first place. I like to whittle away anything that’s not necessary to telling the story, so a lot of dialogue, descriptions, and events get deleted if they don’t serve any purpose in moving things forward.
I even have a handy-dandy cover for That You Are Here, courtesy of Fran Osborne from SelfPubBookCovers.com. I happened to be browsing different websites with premade book covers and this one caught my eye. I think it fits the story perfectly. It’s abstract, which is how one of the main characters, Andrew, feels about his life—nothing is quite in alignment no matter how hard he tries. I love the bold red color, and the two figures could represent the two main characters. I like that it looks like a map, and you know those dots when you’re looking at a directory that say “You Are Here,” so that fits too. Bridges are an important theme in the story, and that thick black line could represent a bridge. It’s my first novel completely set in the present day, so I like that it has a modern look to it. Really, I like that it means what you think it means. It’s the first time I’ve used a premade book cover and I have to say I’m happy with this one.
I have some more writing to do today, and then it’s over the hump and into the 30th (although I will stop to have Thanksgiving dinner on the 28th). It’s all good from here.