I am learning that I am utter pants at estimating the wordage it will take to cover some chunk of plot. Pathetic is what. In April, when I was coming up on 105k, I thought I might be finished with another 10-15k. Now I'm nudging 140k, and losing hope that I'll be done at 150k. 160?
Griffin joining King Charles's ill-thought-out excursion of the second war against the Scots? I figured that would take up maybe 10k, a chapter and a half, maybe another 5k, tops, to get him back home.
What did it take? 30k, not counting the getting home part.
Lately I've been filling in Alice's storyline, and needed to set up the fellow she eventually marries, a thatcher. So I went back to the fenland riots and gave him the task of getting the sedge-loaded barge up to the sluice gates and burning them down. A couple of paragraphs should have done that, right?
But when I'm there with him, hearing the sedge burn, smelling the smoke and the wet wood of the gates, I realise that it couldn't have been that easy, and that the barge has to (magically) move to block his escape. He has to make it out of course, to marry Alice, but it couldn't have been that simple.
Ah, it's the coastline paradox in action. Beforehand, the distance to be traversed looks fairly smooth and simple. But when I'm on the ground, looking around, that wiggly-but-mostly-straight line turns out to be deep-cut zig-zags of little coves and beaches and ravines and inlets. How far inland should I follow an inlet before I decide that I've lost the coast? How far out should I follow a promontory before I risk getting cut off by the tide?
How closely should I follow the coast?
I imagine it as the coast one gets here in the Pacific Northwest, trees to the land's edge, crumbling rocks, crunching barnacles and slippery kelp, skimpy little beaches reachable only from the water. And somehow I have to traverse it before the end of the month, because in August I'm off to Pennsylvania for 3 weeks.
I wonder if there's a Search & Rescue operation for writers?