This was my first year doing National Novel Writing Month and it was a wild success. I just finished the last keystroke of my 50,497th word and I feel like I could walk on the sun in my bare feet and come away with the perfect tan.
Since I hit the 50k-word mark for a middle grade novel titled Gryphon, I am now supposedly a “winner,” though anyone who completes this feat of caffeine and bruised fingertips counts as a “winner.” And, in reality, 50,000 words is short even for a middle grade book. Nonetheless I’ve entered the third act of the story, a.k.a., the sprinting stage, where all the really big “oh no you di’int” stuff goes down; from here I know every twist that comes next, and it’s just a matter of time (much like a train wreck) until the end arrives.
As a writer, I’ll often map out big twists or moments in advance, and then anticipate (and also visualize, often on endless repeat like your kid watching Lion King ten million times) a particularly important scene for days and sometimes weeks. Here’s one from the second act. I was pretty gratified to finally put this baby down on the word processor:
He didn’t push her away, and for that, she was grateful. It was awkward at first; their lips trying to find purchase against the other, their hands unsure of where they should go, but nevertheless it felt perfect, more perfect than any other thing Rheya had ever done. It was right, if a little strange.
Then she realized she couldn’t breathe and broke away, and the two of them sat there, panting, staring only at each other as if the entire world around them had vanished into the dark. And who would have minded? If the world were gone, and only these two left, everything would probably be as it should.
A prickle of light poked its head over the distant hills. It was dawn. But neither of the two children could let the other go.