Girl Lacer is off school (again – she’s had so much time off this year). Her class is like Ground Zero for the swine flu in her school and although right now she’s playing raucously with Boy Lacer, she’s sniffing and although normally, I, ‘heartless’ mummy would send my sniffing child to school, because of the swine flu, I checked her temperature just in case and it was 38.5C, so fever, just about. I don’t know, if it wasn’t for the swine flu, I heartless mummy wouldn’t have even bothered checking her temperature, she looks so relatively healthy and I would have put the sniffing down to a mild cold, which it still could be and if it is swine flu and it stays this mild, well she’s very lucky.
Anyway, so not having to do the school run and the kids’ otherwise occupied, I settled down with my laptop and opened up my NaNoWriMo, I had left it a key scene, the bad guy, who currently has my heroine in his control and I had to work out what she had to do in the key scene of the book and although I knew roughly what happens in that scene and I knew what my heroine would end up doing, I didn’t know what the bad guy would want her to do and writing this blog post, I’m realising that I’m also missing a whole lot more set up for that scene, which could be to do with me writing in first person, maybe I need to write it in third, sorry, thinking aloud here. So, as you can see, my plot structure has been holey and I haven’t expended as much thought as I would have if I hadn’t be racing to this end of November deadline. Thinking about it, the ‘not knowing what the bad guys are doing’ is a problem I come up against with my completed first draft of my Egypt story, I think it’s hard if you’re writing from the child’s view point all the time, to get enough of a sense of danger and build up if you never see what the bad guys are doing behind the scenes just because the child is not there to see. I’m solving the problem, at least in part, with the Egypt story, by planning on writing a prologue, with one of my characters spying on the bad guys. Maybe I need to introduce some spying in my failed NaNoWriMo, but isn’t that in danger of being a bit too much cliched plot device?
Anyway, what really scuppered my NaNoWriMo, is that it’s set in the 17th Century and as much as I’ve done quite a bit of research, it’s not enough. The section I was approaching in the novel, involved a court Masque and whereas I have researched Masques, to write those scenes properly I needed to refresh my memory, do more research, immerse myself in it, just like I had to do when I got stuck on a crucial scene in the first draft of my Egypt novel, which after stopping writing to spend about three weeks on research, when I went back to writing, boy did that scene fly. So I couldn’t do all that research into Masques and finish the darn thing by the end of November. So bye bye NaNoWriMo.
It’s not wasted though, I had written the beginning of this story over and over again over the years, so at 15,900 words, I’ve now got more, even though I suspect I’ll have to rewrite every single one of those words, I’ve got something to work on now. So I’ve now got a decision, what do I do with my limited writing time? Go ahead and research Masques? Go ahead and edit the first draft of my Egypt story, which has been rested long enough now? Or a work on a non-fiction idea I’ve had, which I’ve been told is a very good idea and I should definitely work on it? I think much as I’d quite like to immerse myself in some Masques, it has to come lower down in priority than my Egypt story, work on what I’ve already got, so to speak. So Egypt story versus the non-fiction idea? Once again finishing what I’ve started sounds like a good idea but the non-fiction idea is calling me a bit because being sensible, I think the non-fiction idea is far more commercial than the Egypt story. Hmmm, I don’t know. I’d quite like to do something which I actually had a chance of getting paid for, if anything so I could finance a year’s membership at the gorgeous London Library, so then I could go and immerse myself in Masques far more easily than I could do by just using my grotty local library. Like I say, don’t know.