Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NaNoWriMo Day 8: Lesson learned; write early, before carrying around furniture

Today, I resolved to tackle NaNoWriMo in the afternoon.  While I usually listen to music while writing, when I get into my zone, it fades into the background and I barely notice it.  Still, I rarely write without music, but considering there was already a cacophonous orchestra of saws cutting though wood, I decided not to add more noise to the mix.

At first, I found the racket from upstairs to be rather distracting but, fortunately for me, I had a few idle moments this morning during which I realized what I needed to do to get my novel moving again, since I kept feeling like it had stagnated yesterday.  This meant that I got to start writing an action scene today, so the words just flowed like crazy, and I was able to write 3,939 words today.  I'm pretty pumped about this, as my goal has been to break 4,000 in a single day, so it feels good to approach that.  I am now just over 19,000 words into the novel and, because I am almost to the halfway point, I've realized that there needs to be a lot of movement from here on out.

I'll just say up front that this novel is the first in what is intended to be a trilogy.  Since I've never written anything other than standalone novels before, I found the idea of doing a trilogy to be somewhat daunting.  I've read many wonderful series, but I've also read some where I had the sense that the author should have just made them one book, and I don't want to fall into the same trap.  I was pretty sure I had enough story to fill three books and, the more I'm writing this, the more I realize that it does look like a trilogy will be the way to go.  As long as I feel I have a deep, rich story that has enough to offer a reader, I'll continue to shoot for the trilogy.  If I feel like I'm starting to spread things thin just for the sake of stretching the story out to three books, I'll go back and cut the superfluous bits and write fewer books.

So here is a taste of some of today's action sequences.  I'm pretty exciting about this as I feel they may be the most enticing bits from my manuscript yet.

***


“Dara, look, I ...” Letizia began, but stopped short when the transport began to emit a series of beeps that quickly became shrill alarms.

            “What’s going on?” Dara asked.  The transport gave a sudden, sickening lurch, and Dara braced her hands against the sides of the vehicle as it began to jolt violently.

            “Some kind of mechanical failure,” Letizia said.  Her fingers were moving rapidly over the vehicle’s console.

            “What kind of failure?  Can we fix it?”  The vehicle began to lose speed and Dara looked nervously outside her window.  Between the darkened night sky and the haze that had thickened since they’d been in the meeting, the view from the transport was impenetrable.

            “I don’t know.”  Frustration was evident in Letizia’s voice.  “The transports are controlled remotely, so there’s limited functionality within them.  We’d have to go outside in order to access any of the important systems.”

            “It’s pitch dark out there,” Dara said, feeling panic begin to rise within her.  “Even if we did go outside, and even if we could fix the problem without any tools, we wouldn’t be able to see a thing.”

            “Let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that then.  Maybe...”  But whatever Letizia was about to say, it was cut off by a loud clunking sound, and the vehicle suddenly dropped to the ground.  Dara’s teeth slammed together, and she was infinitely glad that her tongue had been out of the way; she felt pretty certain she’d have bitten it clean off, the force of the impact was so great.  There was a stunned silence for several seconds, and then Letizia let out a slight moan.

            When they had hit the ground, the internal lights in the transport had gone out, and Dara couldn’t even see her hand in front of her face.  She groped around the vehicle, looking for Letizia.
            “Letizia, are you all right?” Dara asked.  Her panic lent a shrill note to her voice and she winced.  If Letizia was hurt, the last thing she needed was for Dara to lose control.

            Dara heard another groan and then a gasp of pain.  She continued feeling around until she connected with something.  Running her fingers over it, she could tell that it was the fabric of Letizia’s suit, but she had no idea which part of Letizia’s body she was touching.  Disentangling herself from her seatbelt with her free hand, Dara held onto Letizia’s fabric and slowly made her way over to the other woman, bumping into several unknown objects as she went.

            “D...Dara?” Letizia asked, once Dara was beside her.  Her voice sounded thick and strange, and Dara’s sense of panic increased exponentially.

            “Letizia!  Are you all right?” she asked.  Gingerly, she felt her way around the fabric and found that it was part of Letizia’s right sleeve.  She moved her hand slowly up the other woman’s arm until she touched her shoulder.

            Letizia’s only response was a groan, and Dara paused for a few seconds, taking several deep breaths in through her mouth and letting them out through her nose.  This took the edge of the panic and, once she felt more in control of herself, she let her fingers continue to move up Letizia’s neck and up the other woman’s cheek.  When she neared Letizia’s hairline, she felt something warm and rather sticky.

            “Hold on, Letizia.  You’re bleeding.  I’m just going to...”