It was 97 degrees in Memphis today -- the best reason I can think of to spend the day writing. I started around 8:30, finished at 5:00, and proudly recorded over 2400 words for the day. But those words came at a cost. My first discovery was that in my diligent efforts to write every day of NaNoWriMo Summer Camp, I had inadvertently lost some people. Friends? No, characters. It's easy to get tied up in a dramatic moment and concentrate on the main characters.
In this case, however, those main characters have seven children, and one can't just abandon seven children to take a trip or move a house. They either had to go along or find themselves in a situation where they were not being abandoned in the middle of a street. Some were easy. I sent 2 young men, ages 20 and 22, off to college. But others needed to be a part of the story. i did a lot of re-writing and inserting there for a while.
The other discovery was that my estimate of needing just 22,000 words to reach the end of the book was pretty far from accurate. My finished NaNoWriMo count is now 20,464, and I still have to move a household, establish a school, save a politician from a rabid mob bend to keeping him from making a campaign speech, create a new breed of horse, and take the whole bunch of characters out to one of my favorite spots in all of South Carolina for a lecture on what the Civil War and its aftermath has done to this family. That's not going to happen in less than 1600 words. I've now upped my project goal to 25,000 words, but I don't know if even that increase will be enough.
How will I know when it's done? When most of the problems are solved and all the questions have been answered, and all the characters are accounted for, one way or another. You may now start an office pool, if you like, to guess how many words I'll end up with.
In other news, just two brief reports:
(1) Toronto's dead raccoon has been given a decent cremation and Animal Control officers have been told to speed up their response times.
(2) The Memphis Monkey was caught, examined by a vet, pronounced healthy, and put back in his overnight house, while zoo keepers try to figure out how he escaped in the first place. As i listened to tonight's "60 Minutes" I was struck by the similarities to the story of an escaped Mexican drug cartel kingpin. But please note: Zimm the Macacque got out first!