Wordcount: Daily = 1,650, Total = 6,940Percentage: 13.9% (138% of cumulative target*)
Today has not been a good day for writing. The weather is dreary - which should improve matters as I cannot procrastinate by doing the gardening or going for a walk, but I am suffering from "the night before". Now, this would have been far more deserved had the night before been spent out partying and boozing until all hours of the morning, but it was not. It was in fact a pleasant potluck BBQ with some friends that involved sitting around and chatting about various things including embarrassing skin conditions and what to stick up people's noses when they fall asleep. We are all class and maturity, yes we are! I therefore have a pleasant combination of headache (because now I'm old, 11pm counts as a "late night"?) and tiredness which does not combine to make for much in the way of word flowage. Still, I am soaring ahead with my story, and may even manage a few more words tonight - provided we don't turn to television and I do not begin drawing instead. Actually, maybe I shall celebrate my being aheard of the wordage by watching a movie and drawing... We'll see. If only the last vestiges of this pesky headache could be banished!
My story is starting to come together now. After doing some research into Lead Poisoning, I have decided that I cannot afflict Hiwa with it. Why not? Because lead poisoning causes brain damage and even if she recovers, I do not want her to lose her wicked intelligence. I like her and, call me selfish, I don't want to maim her in that fashion. I DO still intend to afflict a kea with it, because it seems to be something that people need to learn about.
Here are some of the delightful (NOT!) symptoms:
Regurgitation/vomiting, seizures, neurological disease, anorexia, diarrhoea and polyuria Also, making strange noises and inability to fly.
Also, there are currently only four characters in this novel. I believe that I should add in a rival gang. Heck - they could also be a similar structure to Tiriki's - with three males and one female. I could even get some sort of Romeo and Juliet thing going on with one of Tiriki's gang favouring the rival's. Currently Raweke and Totoa are pretty much "cookie cutter" characters - they haven't really developed personalities. Maybe I should make Raweke more of a clown - he IS the one with the clothing fetish. Let's see... If Tiriki is the brave one, Hiwa is the smart one, Raweke the clownish one - I guess that leaves Totoa as the "tough guy". That works.
Also, with the plot the way it is currently going, Tiriki might not end up getting "arrested" at all - at least not for his crimes. Looks like his capture might be more of a "wrong place, wrong time" situation. Also, timelining... This story has to tie in with Aroha's Grand Adventure - at least insofar as Tiriki and the gang have to meet up with Aroha at some point, this means that this book either has to finish before Aroha's adventure starts (it was summer, IIRC) or overlap it. Currently it is winter in Tiriki's Great Escape (approx June) and it appears all could be over and done with by the time Aroha comes on the scene. Either that, or it could be set a year later, when Tiriki and co are still juveniles, but that wee bit older. Which would work fine too. If I do it this way, it means I don't have to incorporate the earthquake into this book. Although if I finish the novel before attaining 50k, I will write "Entering and Breaking" which is the story of how Aroha and Tiriki met, from Tiriki's perspective.
And, if I accidentally kill off Totoa or Raweke, it doesn't matter cos the only kea in "Aroha's Grand Adventure" with a name is Tiriki.
So... things to do tomorrow...
- Go back a bit and rewrite some of the conversations to better portray the personalities of Totoa and Raweke.
- Introduce the rival gang - either by heading back, or in this new chapter.
As for today's writing - well, Hiwa and Tiriki hang out some more.
“Perhaps,” Hiwa said, “you would rather join me. I think there might be something edible in this shed.”
Tiriki flew up to the hole and stuck his head in. It was dark, lit only by light filtering through narrow cracks between the warped boards. Inside, it was surprisingly tidy. The floor had been covered with a thick layer of sawdust, which plumed up under the kea's feet.
A string had been strung across the roof beams, from which hung rows of spherical items and some large and lumpen bags rested in one corner.
Various tools hung from the walls.
There were shelves too, and Tiriki hopped up to investigate these. One was almost entirely covered in tins of various colours and sizes. Some with labels that were almost peeling off. He tapped his beak against a glass jar. The glass was thick, but he could see something fruity and pale within.
“It's a pantry,” he said, and began pushing the jar across the shelf, towards the edge.
“No,” cautioned Hiwa, flying up to stop him. “We can't just trash the place and break everything.”
Tiriki frowned. “Why not?”
“Have you been to the cafe recently?” She did not wait for his reaction, but plowed on. “Humans don't like us stealing their food – even the stuff that they're not going to eat. The moment they realise we've found their treasure trove, they'll barricade it up tighter then a...” she faltered. “Tight thing. There's no way we can eat everything in here today, is there? And even if there was – you'd end up fat and overfill and probably get eaten by the first stoat that came along cos you'd be too fat to fly. So what we gotta do, right, is take just enough so that the human who put all this stuff here doesn't realise that we've been nicking it. Then we can come back tomorrow, and eat a little bit more. And even if they do notice that some stuff is missing all been nibbled on – they won't blame us – they'll be thinking it's rats and set some more traps.” She flapped down to the bottom shelf. Tiriki followed her. There was indeed a rat trap sitting there – a great, stinky lump of cheese sitting in the trigger. Fetching a nail from a nearby box, Hiwa jabbed it into the trap. SNAP. Tiriki jumped at the noise, but Hiwa did not even flinch as the bar slammed down, knocking the nail from her beak. It clattered to the ground.
“There,” she said, fetching the cheese from the now harmless trap and breaking it in half. “That's how it's done. And if we play the game right, tomorrow there'll be more cheese for us to share.”
“How did you learn that?” Tiriki asked, awed at her performance.
Hiwa gave a nonchalent shrug. “I watch,” she said. “Not like you young cocks – always charging in and making a right proper mess of things. Speaking of messes, if you gotta poop, you better head outside to do it. If we leave a mess in here they'll know it ain't rats what's eating their food.”
“And if there are rats?”
“Well, if that trap catches a rat,” Hiwa replied, “I promise I'll split it with you. Although the extraction process might be a little messy. Now, let's see what's in these sacks.”
* This percentage is based on comparing my total wordcount with the amount that I would have achieved were I doing the bare minimum, therefore the % is going to get lower and lower as the cumulative total increases (5001 today) but as long as stays above 100%, I am ahead of the ball!
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