Thank you all for your good wishes. I’m feeling lots better, thanks to antibiotics, inhalers, anti-inflammatories, fruit, water and rest!
Once I was up to sitting at the keyboard I found I caught up my word-count quite quickly. I think my strategy of writing what’s in my head, then doing something else, then waking up next morning and writing what I think of overnight seems to stand me in good stead. I tend to get about a chapter at a time down on “paper”.
There have been a few twists since I started this story. There are loose ends lying all over the place that aren’t part of the main narrative, and I’m not sure how much a “tween” audience will appreciate the finer points of business consultancy, share ownership and even venture capital, but hey, who else is writing about these things. Maybe all kids should learn basic investment strategies from an early age (actually they do – it’s called “what will you give me for being good when auntie comes next weekend”). Entrepreneurship starts early in life (I was selling golfballs that had been abandoned for a penny or six – depending on quality – when I was about 10).
The trouble with the 50,000 word count target is that I don’t think this is a 50,000 word book. It’s probably a 35,000 one. So for now I don’t take out things I’ve written that may not fit. I’m even incorporating one bit that doesn’t belong any more as a dream sequence for Victor! The Camp NaNo book will be edited to bits before it gets published. I’ve just got to the 30,000 word mark, though.
Maybe you’d like a short extract from the latest chapter (16) “The Legend of Laurel-Eye”.
“Are you ok, Victor?” came Sundance’s voice. “That was quite a storm last night, wasn’t it?”
I crawled out from underneath the bed. It was morning.
“Y-y-yes,” I stammered.
“Come over here and look, the river has shown its true self at last! I hope we’ll be able to get away ok, maybe they won’t run the boats, though.”
I joined Sundance at the window. The sky was mostly blue, with thin clouds still scudding across it high up. Everything looked freshly washed, but the river was still a melee of waves and eddies.
“They say that when the goddesses are angry, they rise up from underneath the Laurel-Eye and drag unwary travellers to their doom in the river,” Sundance said cheerily. “Something to do with some gold that was once stolen from them. They are forever trying to get it back.”
“They can have it,” I said. “It looked really scary last night.”
“It looks scary enough now. What’s that noise from the south?”
I looked out and followed where he pointed. “It looks like a flying machine,” I said.
“Ah good, Amelia should be coming back on that. Let’s go down and meet her. Then you can find out when the next boat is going to leave and book yourself on that.”
Why did that sound like he was trying to get rid of me?
We were half way down the steps, when a howl ripped through the castle.
“Noooo, no, not today. You fools! It’s not safe!”
Professor Schwarzvogel ran from his rooms accompanied by his aides and some guards, all heading towards the side of the castle where the flying boat was expected to land, it seemed.
“Oh my, goodness,” cried Sundance. “The flying boat is heading straight for the Laurel-Eye rocks. Amelia!!” and he joined the crowd heading for the other side of the castle.
I paused before I followed him. We were at the hotel reception, if that’s what you called it, and I could see there was a package stuck in my pigeonhole, so I went and collected it. It just said “Victor” on it, so I picked it up and carried on down the stairs. It occurred to me that I had a meeting with the Professor to sign some papers in half an hour. I wondered whether he’d be there.
On the lower terrace, people were crowding the walls to watch the flying boat as it sank lower and lower in the sky. For some reason it seemed to be dropping things out of the back, well, one or two large packages, at any rate. Then it touched the surface, sent up a plume of spray, then it all went horribly wrong. It seem to catch a wing and cartwheel, then nosedive into a whirlpool. It spun like a top, wings and other things breaking off and spraying themselves all around the place. Then the nose got sucked down below the white water, and there was no sign of anything resembling a flying machine left at all. Just a few bits of wood and other wreckage bobbing along and being tossed aside by the raging water.