The weekend before last was the three-day Labor Day holiday weekend for a lot of us here in the United States. It was also my monthly social media setup, which took up Saturday and Sunday. I used half of the holiday on Monday to get caught-up on a number of weekly projects that were running behind because of the day-job hullabaloo I spoke about in my previous update. Then I used the second half of the day to get ahead of my non-Shadow writing tasks. Doing that got me back on top of things again, and I’ve been able to keep that lead in place since then.
I took some paid time off from the day-job on that Tuesday and Wednesday to extend my holiday even further, and it was on those days that I sat down and added 2,000 words to Shadow of the Black Tower.
With the additional word count, I finished chapter ten on the cliffhanger I had planned, and opened chapter eleven with plenty of horror and action. The sudden shift from slow-build suspense to in-your-face danger should shake up readers and heighten emotional investment; I’m pretty happy with my execution it. I also got to show new facets and drop a few hints about some of the characters, and I might even get the reader to start doubting earlier judgements they may have made about them.
Thursday came, and to the day-job I returned. But on Sunday I got back to the manuscript as usual, and added 1,600 more words to Shadow. The draft reached 26,600 words with that work, and I finished its eleventh chapter on a massive cliffhanger.
Once again, I was pleased with my writing. I penned some very emotional and action packed scenes that I think played out well. The work I did earlier in the week really elevated the chapter’s end, making it a lot more powerful than I had originally envisioned it was going to be.
Things also definitely feel like I’ve reached the climax of the second of three acts, with the protagonist laid low and in a seemingly hopeless situation:
He’s been betrayed. The antagonists have shown themselves to be far more capable and powerful than he is, and have taken his lover and lone ally from him. I’ve literally left him standing weaponless and surrounded by Lovecraftian horrors on a platform rapidly collapsing into a pit of stygian darkness as the bad guys get away.
So, yeah… like I said: The end of act two of three. ;-) Will he somehow survive? Stay tuned…
All of the above strengthens my feelings that I am now entering the final third of the story, and that the doldrums I’ve been through with it were indeed its “meddlesome middle”.
This upcoming weekend I hope to start the third act with my skinny scribe fighting to survive as I resolve the terrible situation I’ve put him in. But along the way, I’ll also get to show his plucky courage and determination in the face of daunting odds… and in a crawling, claustrophobic chase with a tendriled thing at his heels that becomes a turning point.
Have a great week everyone, and keep writing!
~Jason H. Abbott