Progress Report: Day Four

Day four, and I’m astoundingly average! I am pleased with the general word count, but I’m not too happy with the quality of what I’m writing right now. I think it’s because I’m usually a bit loosy goose with word count. I’ll usually have a few days of poor word count and then I’ll have a burst of several thousand words at once. I’m not allowing myself this for the first time. I’m hoping that I’ll boost production overall.

I think I’ll start giving myself a monthly deadline like this all year round. I’ll ask around to see if there isn’t a widget or app that can do this same thing for me. I could customize it as well. 

 I feel I’m learning things about my characters that I didn’t think about when certain scenes only lived in my head. One of my main character’s struggles is that he wants to be seen as mature and competent by his parents. Part of the story involves him sneaking out of his house in the middle of the night to take a train ride across the country alone. Several things go wrong and he ends up in a bad situation. He planned on arriving in town before breakfast. His older brother ends up searching for him all over the city and discovers him more than twelve hours later than he was supposed to be. And he’s sleeping in a brothel. With some man he’s never met. When I had these scenes in my head, it was just part of a crazy adventure to prove that my character made questionable decisions, but always ended up fine in the end.

 When I actually wrote the scenes, an unexpected narrative formed itself on the pages. When things started going wrong, he realized that his parents probably knew he’d have the sort of troubles he would have going by himself. There were points in the narrative, my character thought of turning back or calling his parents for help. I didn’t write it out explicitly, but there were a few moments where my character was thinking, “Oh my god, this was a terrible idea. I wish I listened to my parents!” 

I was afraid this new wrinkle in the story would weaken my character, but I think it may add something to the story. In my mind, his older brother was a bit of an obnoxious blowhard. But when I wrote out the scenes, I felt sorry for the guy. He and his wife were waiting all day and night for him to arrive. He went searching the town for him and discovered his youngest brother holed up in a brothel. His reaction wasn’t too out of line, really. 

I ended up adding a scene where the oldest brother decides to lie to the family and he tells my main character to go along with it. This lie insures that my MC’s parents won’t snatch him back and force him to come back home. It also insures that the brother’s wife won’t refuse to have an irresponsible idiot living in her house, putting her family and valuables at risk. Because when I wrote the story down, I realized that’s exactly what my character deserved to have happen to him.

It’s nice all around. It gives his family members more depth and deepens him a bit as well. Instead of simply proving that he’s an adult, he’s going to have to grow up and start acting like and adult. Hopefully, I can pull it off!

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