Natasha McNeely's Author Blog

Never stop dreaming, 'cause the day you stop dreaming, is the day you stop living.


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Weekly Goals and Accomplishments

As stated in my earlier post, with the arrival of my vacation I strapped myself down and readied for novel-writing. The goal? 7,500 words per week, three weeks long; a grand total of 22,500 words by the end of my holiday. Week One came to an end yesterday and I can announce with sheer delight that I did not meet my goal. I decimated it.

9,603 words in seven days; one day even still after class and one day without any writing.

Yesterday alone, I wrote 4,096 words. That makes for one heck of a long chapter that I am ecstatic to have behind me. Out of everything I have planned for this novel, the scene in chapter ten, now dubbed Surreal, haunted me and terrified me at the sheer thought of it. Honestly, I feared I would slip into willing procrastination after chapter nine – anything to avoid thinking, much less writing what plagued me.

So, yesterday I put my foot down, opened the file and had a stare down with the new page, decorated with “Chapter Ten” at the top. I added the title after the brief staring contest, pushed aside my fears and hit my fingers to the keys. The time it took me to write out the entire 4,096 word chapter, fish out and edit minor mistakes, and then put it away took me the equivalent of a nine to five job; if not longer. I lost track. The relief of having the horrible scene behind me and being able to move on relaxed me to no end and I did not open the document again that night (except to copy and paste the chapter into its own document and send it to a very awesome friend/trusty proofreader).

Why did that chapter plague me so? I killed one of my babies.

Until now, I have never ended the life of any of my characters – I never got far enough to do so. I have deaths planned, but this is the first one I reached. It’s hard, killing off those you’ve become accustomed to. I fear the worst for later chapters, later novels, and other series.

Even so, the sacrifice was relevant to the plot and I look forward to progressing deeper into the novel.

I won’t stop until it’s done.

Current Novel Word Count: 28,690

Have you ever killed one of your characters? Is it one of those moments you dread or do you move past it like it’s any normal section of the novel?