Challenge: Camp NaNo: Day 13: One Foot in the Quagmire


April 13

Tonight I’m putting Ernest Hemmingway’s adage—“Write drunk.  Edit sober.”—to the test.  Though instead of “drunk,” I am “sleepily tipsy.”  It doesn’t seem to be working for me as he says it should.

I am now writing the middle of the story, the section of the story arc that has always given me the most trouble, the nebulous journey from point A to point B.  Journeys have been central to the middle of each book of this series.  I have little confidence in writing journeys either.  I’m always hunting for well-written journeys, and I try to learn from every journey that I read.  (If you’ve read any fantastic journeys, please let me know.)

When writing the first book, I calculated the distances traveled daily and the number of days required to travel a particular distance by my heroes by figuring the speed at which the horses were traveling (and assuming that the horses were traveling at the average speed for each pace) for what length of time.  I’ve realized that I need to do this for the second book.  I think this will help me to cement the middle.  Once I can figure out how many days my heroes will be covering a particular area, I will be able to fill in the gaps with appropriate prose.

78 words of my word count towards other projects are these calculations, so while not strictly NaNo words, they’re proving vital for NaNo plotting.  It’s also making me rethink the distances of the first book.  I understand that the heroes’ hometown is isolated, but 125 miles from the road?  Why did I think that was a good idea?  That’s a problem for another day.  What do you all think?  Too far in a medieval-like/early colonial setting?

Today’s goal: 21666

Total word count: 18879

Day’s word count: 575

Average daily word count for April: 1452

Death count: 1

Total word count towards other projects (including this project, Facebook messages, cover letters, etc.): 17201

Daily word count towards other projects: 1604

Average daily word count for other projects: 1461

Cups of caffeine: 2 caf, 1 Coke, and 1 glass of wine to kill all the caffeine effects

Sugar: 0!

Hours spent at work: 8

Hours driving: 1+

What else distracted me: My friend has finished BBC’s Robin Hood.  I joined her for the 2 part finale.

Other campers: Apprentice, Never MasterMore Than One Page


About Kathryn

My love of books has been carefully cultivated by the adults who raised me and also by the friends who love to share. My life has led me down long library shelves, to online forums, fanfiction sites, the front of a lecture hall, and into the desks of college classrooms. With an English degree and a couple master’s classes in Children’s Literature, I am now a bookseller for Barnes & Noble. I have been an editor for Wizarding Life Networks (the people who brought you Wizarding Life, Panem October, and MyHogwarts now HogwartsIsHere).

4 responses »

  1. I think an important question to ask in regards to the distance from the road is: can the town sustain itself? Does it NEED any goods that it can’t produce? Does it rely on trade in any way? Does it have people who can act as the equivalent of doctors (even just a midwife or something)? If it needs anyone/anything other than what it can produce itself on a regular basis, I think it might be too far away. However, if it can sustain itself–or if there’s a historical reason it’s so secluded (say, it was founded by a runaway criminal who needed to be somewhere secret and it was too much of a bother to move everything closer later), then I think it’s fine. =)

    • It is relatively self-sustaining and all the necessary for survival occupations are accounted for and a few besides. I’ve decided that between once and thrice a year someone will leave the village to go get a few luxuries (and to peek and see what has happened in the larger world and check up on facts like who is the current king), but otherwise, yes, it’s self-sustaining. And yes, there’s a historical reason for it being far away. The real reason I thought that 125 miles was a good distance is because it’s 1.5 days hard travel and I wanted to strand my scaredy cat boy in the woods for one night at least, but anyone looking to trade would probably have a cart at least with them and would have more like 3 days’ travel to the road. With just saddlebags, it’s probably a 2.5 day journey.

  2. I like you, inkhearted. 🙂 You justify my silliness. Though apparently, according to Wiki, the most remote point in the US is 120 miles to the nearest habitation. But, “the most remote city with a population in excess of one million is Auckland, New Zealand. The nearest city of comparable size or greater is Sydney, Australia, 2,168.9 kilometres (1,347.7 mi) away. Coming in a close second at 2,139 kilometres (air travel distance) is Perth, Australia. Its nearest city of at least one million population is Adelaide, Australia.”

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