Personal Narrative

Novel Journey 5: In which the author fails to buy a pig

Feral dog and motorbike, Moalboal, Philippines

Feral dog and motorbike, Moalboal, Philippines

The small child was perched under a shelter, upon the wall of a square enclosure. “You want buy pig?” he inquired.

The author, being as he was on his way back from diving, demurred.

I can see why folks dive at Pescador Island – a small atoll only a few minutes boat ride from Panagsama Beach – it is simply beautiful. I was, for reasons known only to itself, adopted by a remora which became the surreal highlight of my dive. Oh sure, there were all sorts of colourful fish, nudibranches, sea horses, soft and hard corals, and snotty-looking things, but every time I reached for my pressure gauge, I would grab a handful of Romy (that was her name).

The giggling probably reduced my downtime a bit, but I still got an hour in.

The writing has gone well. I am now up to 50,305 words, having written over 5,000 words a day. The pace has been less an act of plodding than of the author frantically trying to get the words down as events play out in near real-time.

I can hear the characters in my head, and I find myself adopting their physical postures as I write. I often have to ask them to replay certain scenes so I can try and capture everything that is happening. A less popular suggestion with them when it involves someone getting ripped apart, again.

There is a section I’ve wracked my brain over for years. My principle characters need to go to the main city in the region. Going there will expose them to certain danger. There is no direct call for them to go.

I experimented with having the bad guys kidnap a child, or a wife, but I didn’t want to follow that route. The story goes to sufficiently dark places without me wanting to follow through to the consequence of a bunch of deranged thugs taking a child.

In the end, one of my characters solved the problem in a way that was both obvious (to them), fitted with the story and was surprisingly simple.

There is only one small incident where I found myself actively giggling. And a number where I had to go for a walk afterwards.

All going well, the first draft will be complete in a week.

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