After I finished writing yesterday, I figured out that one scene that I’d summarized in a paragraph really needed to be written out — about 1200 words. Wrote that tonight.
So here’s the official word count. I’m not where I wanted to be — wanted to write the first 2000 words of chapter eleven tonight. Instead, I’m only a little over 1000 words in.
However, I’m very satisfied with where I am in terms of the plot. It’s hard to describe what goes on in this part of the process. I needed more to be going on (or this book wasn’t going to make 60,000 words.) I didn’t know what. An extremely natural outgrowth from an existing character point just blossomed into a new subplot that’s going to take care of a bunch of things. And hey! Since this has been an existing character beat, from the first meeting of this character, it’s going to kind of seem like I planned it from the start.
I do keep thinking about what mid-career writers do, what I’m doing — going back to the basics, as well as codifying some of the deep story and plot stuff.
Like for example, one of the main things I use for figuring out the plot of a novel is: what does your character fear the most? How can you make that physically manifest? And then make it worse? The fear can’t be trivial. Nor can it be unique. It has to be universal — it’s one of the ways you help other people understand your character, make him sympathetic.
One of the things I’m thinking about a lot in this novel is how to make characters sympathetic. At least half the POV characters aren’t. Not really. But you do feel sorry for them, which I think helps.