I am currently working on the Fun and Games section of my novel, which stretches from the 20% mark to the midpoint at 50%. The idea of this section is that the main character is in their new world and learning to navigate it. Think Katniss competing in the Hunger Games or Harry Potter taking his classes and learning magic in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone for my overseas readers). They have been ripped from their status quo and are messing around in a new reality.
I am struggling a bit with making this section as long as it needs to be. I reached the 30,000 words mark (30%) this past Tuesday (6/30) and I don’t know how I’m going to write 20,000 more words of this.
Something that has helped is to outline the things that I need to have happen prior to the midpoint. My main character needs to get better with her weapons of choice. She needs to learn her particular magical skill. There need to be some foreshadowing elements showing that she might be able to do more than she realizes, and that there is a larger evil than anyone realizes. The only question is how to make all those happen in a way that is interesting and keeps people reading.
I’ll make a list of things she needs to do, then try to hit word goals for each of those events. Mathematically this will help me get words on the page. A list of ten events means I need to average 2,000 words per item. If I can imagine a string of events 20 items long, each will have only 1,000 words as a goal. To inform my writing over the next week or so I will be spending today brainstorming this list and informing my choices based on some of my favorite books. My desk is scattered with books turned upside down to the section that I am currently working on so I can pick them up and see how their fun and games was handled, and trying to emulate that same progression in my own work.
It’s difficult trying to teach myself how to do this, but it’s also fun. This draft makes a lot more sense than the first, and I can’t wait to finish this draft so I can learn how to edit, cut, and rewrite instead of starting from scratch.
Be safe out there.