Still slow but steady

I didn’t make the word count yesterday, fell 333 short. So my goal before work is to get that caught up (almost there), and hopefully go further. On days like today that I am working a full day, I’m just hoping to stay on target. Then I am off Saturday through Wednesday this weekend, so I hope to pull ahead a bit. We’ll see, though. I finished the diary entries last night – 8002 words of diary. I can go back to that at some point, but I want the novel to be about Emily, really, so this morning I started the third person narrative. Emily is worried. Lily didn’t come home last night. I haven’t yet decided (it’s only 231 words so far) if Lily has committed suicide yet, or if I will intersperse the diary entries with the narrative.

Oh, last night, the last diary entry I wrote was a bit of a doozy. It might be the longest one, and it was an emotional one. Writing third person emotion is one thing, but writing stuff like this in first person, as a diary is, it really heavy stuff. I couldn’t eke out my last 333 words because after that entry I was so drained, I just had to stop writing. Lily finally said what exactly happened to her Dad. She was angry and yelling (several parts of the entry are in all caps) and crying and emotional, and naturally that meant I was crying and emotional, and I went to bed with a headache. I mean, it took her almost a year to be able to say what happened to her Dad, and that’s just to her diary, to herself. Does that mean she can finally talk to someone else about it? Apparently not, as that wasn’t cathartic for her, just painful.

So now I have started Emily’s story. I have to decide what parts of the story to tell. I don’t want to walk through the same months I just went through with Lily, at least not all of it. I’ll probably go through some backstory as flashbacks, or remembrances, but I want Emily’s story to pick up where Lily’s leaves off. How will Emily react to her daughter’s suicide, especially with her husband gone less than a year? I don’t know if the progression of the diary entries makes any sense (is it believable that Lily killed herself after all this?) but that will be for someone else to tell me after I finish writing the first draft.

Ooh, maybe Emily was finally over her husband’s death (as over it as someone can be) and now that Lily’s gone she spirals back down into that dark place she was in for so long. And can she fight her way out of it again, or is it too much for her now? So many possibilities… At 8k I’m starting to get a sense of the novel, after rearranging the diary entries and adjusting a few things it’s back on track with my initial vision, and I am excited to challenge myself. As Aimee pointed out when I told her I wasn’t sure if Lily was actually going to die, I tend to lighten things up. I am intent on completing this as a dark novel, and I don’t want to be scared off from GOING THERE. So the challenge will be if I can finish the novel as I originally pictured it, or if I back off and end up less satisfied with the result.

Anyway I am very proud of Mark who remains ahead of me by 5k. He has been faithfully pounding out the words even after really long days at work. The only bad thing is that he’s writing a sequel to what he did last year and he keeps accidentally slipping and saying things that are going on, and I told him I WANT TO BE SURPRISED!