NaNoWriMo08 Ch6 Excerpt

NaNoWriMo Participant

I was very happy with progress tonight, having hit the 27,000 word mark, passing halfway both in terms of words written and the plot of the novel.  The tragedy has struck and the main character has a few heavy-going chapters ahead of him.  Poor sod.

I went to the NaNo site to update my word count from the running count I have and noticed an addition – they are now validating word counts.  I thought I would give it a try since different programs use different routines to calculate numbers of words in a document, so I wanted to know what sort of safety margin I might have to build in.  I don’t want to get to November the 30th thinking I’ve done 51k words only to find out that only 48k of them registered.

So I copied and pasted my entire work-in-process, now called “Benefits of Hindsight“, into their word counter and was amazed to see it return the figure of 30,475 – 3k more than I thought I had written.  That puts me ahead of my own targets, so I’m pretty happy with that, though I’m sticking with my own measure to be on the safe side for the moment.

Here’s some of chapter 6, where the lead character (currently called Charlie, but likely to change) meets up with a friend of his missing wife hoping to use her contacts to investigate the strange occurrences in his life:-

I made the trip down to Ciara’s shop, her Aladdin’s cave of the new age, early the next morning.  I wanted to catch her before she opened up so that we could have a decent chat without worring about disturbing her business, which could be pretty busy during the summer months and especially towards the summer solstice when people would travel from around the country heading to the ferry at Uig to travel to Lewis and visit the stones at Callanish.  As I arrived, around eight-thirty in the morning, she was just unlocking the door to the shop.
“Charlie!  How are you?” she jumped towards me and gave me a mighty hug.  It felt good; I hadn’t had a hug since I last saw Mary and I relished the human contact and supporting warmth it conveyed to me.
“Trying to keep busy, working out what’s been happening, really” I answered her.
“No news, I take it then?  Of QC?”  QC had been Ciara’s nickname for Mary since they first became friends.  It came from people’s surprise at how different the two of them were, and stood for ‘Quite Contrary’.
“Nothing.  She seems to have vanished without a trace.  I’ve all but given up on pestering the police for information.  The last thing they could tell me was that none of the CCTV cameras between the airport and the train station she was supposed to be travelling to have any footage of her.  There was one image of her passing through the arrivals section and that was the last anybody has seen of her.”
“Weird” she said.
“When you tell me something is weird, it must be truly bizarre.”
She invited me in for some herbal tea whilst she set up her till and prepared for her day’s trading, during which we talked about some of the unsettling coincidences that I had come across over the weeks since the murders in London had been taking place.  She was growing agitated the more we spoke about the chain of events, until she seemed to be able to hold herself back no more.
“Charlie, you’ve got to see Trenazia.  I insist.  The universe is obviously trying to tell you something.  You can only get so far with internet research and messing around with some of the crackpots on there.  You’re needing to see the big guns.  Trenazia is the real deal.  She lives in London, I’ll give you her address and directions.  She can guide you through this.  I have no doubt.  It might be the only way to find out what’s happened to Mary.  To save her, even, if it’s not too late.”
She hurried into the back of the shop and rifled through a pile of folders, eventually pulling one out and flicking quickly through the pages.  She copied some details from one of the pages on a piece of scrap paper and handed it to me.  “Here’s her address and a contact number.  You need to arrange to see her as soon as possible.  Promise me!”
“Of course, Ciara, anything that will bring Mary back to me.”
“Good, let me call her now and make the introduction.”
She reached behind her for the phone and tapped in the number, then waited for an answer.
“It’s Ciara” she spoke into the phone.  “I have a friend here who needs your help.  He’s found himself with threads to the killings in London and his wife has disappeared.  Yes, I know. Okay, here he is…” she handed me the phone.
“Hello?” I asked.
“There is a dark concentration of energy around these killings” she said.  “They are beyond the normal.  If your wife is linked to these it is very serious.  Not just for her.  Others will suffer.  You will need to come to me.  Ciara will give you details”  and with that she hung up.
“So far, so cryptic” I said to Ciara.

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