Yep. Another one of those special two-for-one updates.
I am still developing the back story material on the characters and writing the set up. One fun aspect of that is I now feel like I've stumbled upon a completely different book. The idea had come to my mind at one point to make this story a nine-part Young Adult series. If that were to happen then much of what I am currently writing would be Book 1 of that series. Other parts of it would come out as flashback material for the rest of the series. One part of really likes that idea, but another part of me wants to just write a novel and be done with it.
I've been writing romantic scenes of first kisses and from both male and female characters' perspectives. It has been a lot of fun but also rather challenging. It is an interesting exercise to see how you understand the opposite sex. Hopefully my ability to capture my female characters' thoughts and emotions is at least realistic enough to be palatable to female readers.
I've also written one of the darker scenes in the book. This was a good challenge for me as well, because it was uncomfortable to write parts of it. In fact, I doubt that much of it will be used in the actual book, because I believe that sometimes it is more powerful to leave things unsaid and just hinted at. I also want my children to be able to read these books and so a certain amount of self censorship is appropriate.
As a last bit of info, I found out about a short story contest put on by lulu.com. At first I ignored it because I am in novel writing mode for the month and did not want to be distracted. But yesterday morning while I was showering I had an idea pop into my head for a short story so I wrote one yesterday morning before I worked on the novel. It ended up at ~1,400 words for the rough draft, but I will be able (and need) to cut it down tremendously during the revision process; the max word count is 600.
I've never entered a writing contest before so I am ecstatic. I'm even excited to enter and lose, just because I'm stretching myself further than I've stretched before. However winning would be fantastic because, who doesn't want $500 and a Barnes & Noble Nook e-reader thingie? Sounds good to me.
And now the part that no one but me is waiting for:
Days 17 & 18: 4,227
Side Short Story: 1,407 (which means I'm technically 40k+ now for NaNo writing. Woohoo!)