I wound up having more decent writing days over the holiday weekend, but none that matched my 8000 word day. I jumped from Lizzie and the hat back to Mari’s swamp story.
I’m faced with a problem in Goodbye Old Paint. I’m at 25,000 words, but Lizzie and the hat are aimed back at their main problem. If I want this MS to come in around 45K, I need to think about how I’m going to add to the tale. There’s no guarantee they can solve the gremlin problem in one swoop, but I don’t need things getting repetitive on me either. This can only mean one thing… time to switch stories.
Mari and her new friend/rescuer/mentor, Kililah wound up trying to return the coonhound to her rightful owner. Turns out this pup revealed herself to be a cull. Meaning she fled from a wild hog, and the owner intended to shoot her.
Mari wound up buying her from him with the promise that she’d leave the area so the pup wouldn’t taint the bloodline. I had some fun moments with Mari and the pup, and she named her Worthless as a jab at the man who was going to shoot her.
I might go back and flesh some of this out, but Mari and the pup learned a little from each other by hunting squirrels and trailing rabbits. Mari is still getting used to her enhanced sense of smell. Can a dog be a kind of mentor? Maybe I should play that up. Hmmm.
Poor Mari got chewed up again when the ox panicked at the sight of a bobcat. I had some fun with her yelling at him that he takes a bigger crap than that puny bobcat. This led to what I thought was an emotional epiphany for Mari. She wasn’t the only one who lost everything. The ox lost his brother and life long partner, too, on that fateful day.
Wounded and bleeding, she discovered an old cabin in the swamp, complete with the skeleton of the owner. She spent some fevered nights haunted by things she’s not taken proper time to dwell on. She also spent plenty of time talking to the skeleton, then scavenging whatever she could to help her on her journey.
I stopped today with a scene I often use. I like to call it the Hero Revealed scene. Mari’s been treated pretty poorly in life, she’s been beaten, raped, had her entire family murdered, taken some hard falls, and kept coming back. Some of the salvage provided a new look for her, and I kind of like the way it roughed out. Kind of a no-nonsense post apocalyptic fashion statement.
At just over 31K words Mari has a lot left to her tale. I have one more mentor for her to meet, then she has to use her enhanced skills and lessons without benefit of mentors to reach her goals.
Right now, getting Mari’s story to novel length looks easier than getting Lizzie’s tale to the noveloid length I prefer for Hat stories.
I’m bagging it early today. Old What’s Her Face and I have some errands to take care of, and we might even wrangle date night out of the deal.