Yesterday’s word count: 651 words.
In other words, I didn’t meet my goal. But I also didn’t break the chain. I’m counting that as a success.
My two extremes as a writer are flat, ie sentences that feel long-winded and dull; and hokey, metaphors that go over the top. I generally try to hit the sweet spot in-between the two extremes with simple sentences and just enough description to set the scene. Yesterday I felt like I was veering back and forth between the two. It’s a critical moment and I want the reader’s adrenaline to be flowing. But at the same time, I don’t want to get gushy.
A couple paragraphs that show what I mean:
He reached out for her and grabbed, his hands closing on her shoulders only briefly before they slid up and around her throat. Natalya’s eyes widened and her hands came up, clutching his wrists, trying to wrench them away, to loosen his fingers. Her nails dug into his skin, feeling the give under them, the dig that said she might be drawing blood, but he didn’t relent.
Her head fell back. The pain in her cheek still hurt more than his hands around her throat, but the pressure felt as if it were forcing her larynx back into her vertebrae, a steady weight closing off her air supply. She kicked Thompson, but her bare foot against his shin was a leaf against rock. He didn’t react and her toes hurt. Drawing her leg up, she tried to knee him in the groin, but his legs were close together, preventing her from reaching an angle that could do damage.
Leaf against rock? Does that cross into hokey?
Preventing her from reaching an angle? Are those really the words that she’d be thinking while being strangled? She’s a doctor, which is why the larynx against vertebrae works for me–I’ve been careful to try to make her voice a medically knowledgeable voice, even in extreme moments.
But I don’t know whether yesterday’s words are successful or not. Today, I guess, I just keep writing and try to save the editing for later. Goal: 500 words, because I’ve got other things to do, including making some fun revisions for my presentation at Full Sail tomorrow. I had some great ideas about it while I was walking the dog this morning, when I should have been thinking about Nat’s next moves. C’est la vie. It’s Oct 16th and I still aim to finish by Halloween.