So the first week of Nanowrimo has come to an end. There was… I want to say a bit of a hang up I guess, right at the start. In fact after the first three days I had a whole seven hundred words written. And by the end of Monday I was more than four thousand words behind. And I’ll admit I almost performed the virtual equivalent of flipping a table, raising my arms into the air and flipping off the laptop. But I ground it out. Kept writing… and closed the gap. I’m still behind a bit but if I keep up the same pace I’ll probably be caught up by the end of the day.
The story has progressed fairly well, outside of those first few days. I didn’t exactly like the first chapter. It was, for all intents and purposes, the sort of chapter that I hate to read in sequels. Yes it was a chapter full of recaps and bits and pieces of hints of what happened since the end of the last novel. I know why it’s there, just as a bit of a refresher for the reader. But it didn’t make it any less boring to write. At least the ending was more interesting to write… And I have to question why I enjoyed writing a five-page murder scene so much. I suppose I’m just morbid on a fundamental level. Or it was just nice to have a break from having a recap.
Lucy… Lucy was a young girl from the first novel. Her mother had gone missing and she’d come to Mike out of desperation. Then five years passed by. The problem I had was trying to figure out how a thirteen year old girl was going to become part of the violence and leg work that was required in this novel. Mike is easy: he always stumbles into things that turn out awful for him, but he’s been trained to fight and to shoot; and he is a dirty fighter. Gwen was easy too: more skilled and better at thinking tactically. While Mike will brute force his way in hand to hand combat if he needed to, Gwen would rather take them out from a distance. But Lucy…
There is a fundamental problem, for me, throwing her into any sort of fight. For one there is the fact that she is thirteen and hasn’t had any combat experience at all. There’s also the problem with the setting: just how awful everything is and how, up until the start of the novel, she was shielded from that and allowed to keep a bit of her child like innocence. That will, I think, be a fun exercise throughout the novel: her trying to retain some of that innocence while being exposed to more and more of what the world really is.
But it doesn’t make any sense to have her get into fights. Mike and Gwen wouldn’t allow it; at least under any normal and most extreme examples. But she needed to be involved otherwise her chapters are otherwise pointless and just info dumping filler. So the only logical choice, and it fit went well with her story arc, was to have her become a fledgling hacker. She had to lose some of her innocence right away because of this: anonymity, even in today’s age, produces terrible people saying and doing terrible things online. But it’s a small price to pay for her to grow into the character that I’m hoping she’ll become. It’s a trade-off: she loses a bit of who she once was but in exchange she’s developing the skills needed to help Mike and Gwen like that had once helped her.