Update on My Novel: Month 28


Days Writing: 17
New Words: 2,966
New Chapters: 0.5

Total Word-count: 85,250
Total Chapters: 23

My goal for the past few check-ins has been to incrementally improve on the previous month’s effort. In August I wanted to hit 13 days of writing, and I met that and then some with 17 in all! I also wanted to get 3,200 words, but I fell a little short on that one. At 2,966 I was even a little under July’s 3,069.

I would have liked to have met my goal, but I’m not too upset about it. I feel like I gave an honest effort this month, just sometimes it’s a different sort of work that goes into making a novel than at other times.

And that was the case with this month. I spent quite a bit of time doing and undoing work, which might seem like a waste, but going through that process made me more confident that the story is where it needs to be.

Specifically I was trying to add a new nightmare sequence to Chapter 20, and it just wasn’t coming together. Finally I realized that I was trying to force this piece in for logistical reasons (to have an equal number of chapters between each nightmare sequence) and that was the wrong motivation. The story simply didn’t want to go there, and it would be a mistake to force it to do so.

So I scrapped the ill-fitting sequence and instead added a different dream sequence to the end of Chapter 23. This was a much better fit and my writer’s block was replaced with a pleasant flow.

For September I’ll go for 18 days of writing and see if I can hit that 3,200 word goal this time around. Come back in a month to hear how it goes. In the meantime, here’s a segment from the dream sequence I added during August.

Each day the would-be hero grows more ill-at-ease with the cruelty, more unwilling to stand idly by as the children he loves are harmed.

“Leave him alone!” he calls out one day as the bully kneels on a small student’s chest and pushes his hair into the mud.

“No!” comes the reply. “I’m the leader here so I do as I decide!”

“But what you’re doing is wrong!”

“Oh, wrong am I? You don’t even know how wrong I can be!”

To prove his point the bully pulls the small student back to his feet and wraps his hands around the boy’s throat from behind.

“What are you doing?!” the hero shrieks. “Stop that!”

But instead the bully clenches even tighter, and the youth begins to splutter.

For a moment it seems that they hero is still not going to intervene. For a moment he bows his head in shame, resigned to once again shirk the call. Maybe if he walks away, if he capitulates to the bully here and now, maybe then the bully will let the small student go.

But then the hero raises his head and there is fire in his eyes.

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