Novel in a Month: Days Four and Five

twists

I did write about 900 words yesterday, but went to a party in the evening and forgot to write a blog post about it. I didn’t write all that much as I wanted to get my proofing done for Till Human Voices Wake Us — which I didn’t, quite, but should do by tomorrow.

Today I was largely kept indoors by the tail end of a tropical storm, the first hurricane or near-hurricane of the season. Along with reading most of Dorothy L. Sayers’ Five Red Herrings — to give me some pointers and inspiration — I wrote somewhere around 5600 words, for a total of 11078 so far — 1/6 of the way into my novel, at least theoretically! I’ve laid in the main lines of the story, and the first major plot twist is about to heave over the horizon and change my protagonist’s life quite considerably — far more than the pie he is desultorily investigating would suggest.

I’m finding this process very interesting. Last summer I tried to write a novel in a month, which almost worked — I got to within shouting distance of the end, and then got stuck, and stuck I have been ever since. That’s The Coming of Fitzroy, and while I am slowly unravelling parts of the knot, I have not yet got all the pieces laid out properly yet. I think I might need a new plot line, or at least to work through the climax very carefully, before I try to go back to it.

Having already decided on the climax of Stargazy Pie, or at least what happens in a general sense, its location, and some of the main participants, I am finding it much easier to write my way towards it. I do keep going off on little tangents relating to curious pieces of back story. I knew my narrator would encounter a friend to invite him to something out of town where the next bit of plot can happen, but I didn’t know very much about who that friend would be until I had Mr. Greenfield run into Mr. Dart. Mr. Dart sprung into existence with a brother and a backstory and an earnest friendship; I hope nothing very bad happens to him in the course of the novel, since as a best friend something is bound to …

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