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NaNoWriMo 2016 Update #4

by Kellyn Roth |
November 23, 2016

I decided to do the post today as I doubt I’ll have time for one tomorrow – and I’ll be at the beach, anyway – and I obviously didn’t have time for one Monday! 🙂

At 44,594 words (and I haven’t written yet today), I’m zipping along at a pretty decent pace. Can I write 5,406 more words in a week? Well, considering that I have written 14,000 words per week pretty consistently this month, I’d say yes. 🙂

And, words-wise, that’s all I have to say. If you want more, I update my adult NaNoWriMo page pretty regularly. Like, every five minutes. XD

Where am I in the actual writing of the novel? Well, it’s hard to tell. Sometimes one sentence from my outline will turn into three chapters while a paragraph just makes a scene. I started out with five pages of outline (though page five is less than hlaf a page, honestly). I’m in the middle of page three.

So … how long do I estimate this novel will be? Well, based on the fact that I have about two pages remaining of outline, I should finish At Her Fingertips at 70,000 words. Yeah, like that’s happening! I’m aiming for 55,000, actually. I think I’ll be able to achieve 10,000 words in so many days, and I think the book will be finished in so many words. My crazy outline, who thinks I could get 25,000 more words, has plainly lost it.

Now, an excerpt:

(from Chapter Fifteen of At Her Fingertips by Kellyn Roth)

After a few minutes of pleasantries, Gibson found it necessary to go greet more guests and left Alice with Peter and the other ladies and gentleman – all already introduced to Alice – who lingered near him.

However, the others began conversing among themselves, allowing Alice a few minutes to talk with the strange American reporter.

“I heard your family were immigrants from Germany.”

“On my father’s side, yes,” said the still-smiling Mr. Strauss. “My mother’s family has been in America for generations. They claim relationship to the Pilgrims. They were quite wealthy, and she had to fight them to marry my father, but they let her. It’s different in America than it is here. Here, I think there would be some disinheriting. Of course, we’re still a bit shunned … it was difficult,” Peter admitted.

“I have no doubt that it would be. Marrying out of class … it’s the height of bad taste.”

“Well, so is being in love,” Peter said with a laugh. “But I recognize the name Knight, don’t I?”

“Perhaps. My father grew up in America.”

“In Boston, perhaps? Married the Bailey girl?”

“That … would be my stepmother, Mrs. Hazel Knight. She … passed away. Several years ago.”

“Ah. Your father married three times? Who was your mother?”

“Mm … it’s hard to explain, so I’ll just say … my parents were separated for a long period of time, during which he was married to ‘the Bailey girl.’ After she was killed in an accident, they remarried.”

“That sounds … complicated,” Peter Strauss said slowly, but he accepted it without further inquiry. “I’m sorry if it caused you any grief.”

“It did, but that’s all in the past now.”

“God heals all wounds in time. Spiritual wounds, I mean. If you get your leg cut off, it’s actually going to remain off, and …” his voice trailed off, noticing Alice’s expression, perhaps. “I’m sorry. I don’t need to explain everything I say, do I? I’m just a little nervous. I’m not sure what I’m doing here. I’ve never been good with social events, and that was in America with people I know.”

“Don’t worry,” Alice replied, smiling at Mr. Strauss with amusement. “I assure you that everyone in this room is a human being.”

“Thank you for the reassurance. It’s hard to remember sometimes, I’m afraid. Either that, or I forget that I’m not some great observer of the whole world and its working; that I have to participate, too.”

“You forget that?” Alice asked.

“Sometimes,” Peter admitted. “I think it has something to do with being an author.”

“I wouldn’t know. I’m not an author,” Alice replied. “I did know one once, though. We went to boarding school together. Her name is Amorette Bandeau. She’s in France, her home-country, now, engaged to be married.” Which is terrifying, Alice almost added. “I believe she still scribbles down poetry, but she never finished her novels.”

“Writing an entire novel requires a great deal of patience, perseverance, and prayer,” Peter replied laughingly. “I had a great deal of patience and prayer to begin with; perseverance comes if you’re truly passionate about something, which I am. So you might say you need patience, perseverance, prayer, and passion. You definitely need to love your work. It’s the only way.”

“So you’ve completed a novel?”

Peter almost seemed to blush. Alice dropped her eyes, feeling bad about embarrassing him. But he replied a moment later. “Yes. I have.”

“What’s it about?”

“It’s an adventure story about a young man who fights in the American Civil War.”

“That sounds interesting.”

“He’s a Yankee, but his sweetheart is a Southern Belle, and he has no chance with her, obviously. He’s forced to fight against her family, and you know how many cousins everyone has down there.”

“Not particularly. But go on.”

“Well, he meets her brother in one of the battles … but I won’t tell you the whole story. It’s more about the actual war than the romance, though. But … you wouldn’t be interested.” His eyes said he very much wanted her to be interested, but Alice wasn’t, and she wasn’t going to pretend to be. But she could ask a few more questions without acting fake.

“What do you call it?”

“I haven’t decided on a final title, but I’m currently just calling it ‘Crossing into Dixie.’ Dixie is one of the names we have for the South in the States. Rather a weak – and perhaps a melodramatic – title, perhaps, but I’ll work on it.”

“No, I like it, actually. You should keep it.”

“I’ll see. I’m bad at titles, honestly.”

“And have you sought publication?”

“Not yet. It needs editing badly. I’ve gotten through my revisions for the most part, but I have a lot of work to do on it.”

“But do you intend to?”

“Perhaps. I’m more inclined to say no. I … I’m afraid it would be rejected. There are so many wonderful books being written and published … mine isn’t very important.”

“Why isn’t it?”

“I don’t know,” Peter admitted. “There are just so many other fantastic books. I know. According to Mr. Ashfield, I’ve read most of them.”

“Well, have you?”

“Not yet. I’m only halfway through the Ashfields’ library. I haven’t been here a week yet, though, to be fair.”

Alice laughed. “You’re a fast reader?”

“I am, although I’m also a constant reader, which helps more than anything in my quest to read every book ever written.”

“I don’t like reading much, personally,” Alice said.

“That’s too bad. Of course, reading isn’t really for everyone. I understand that.”

“My sister loves reading, as does my aunt, but I just never have enjoyed it. I do like to read for information occasionally. I don’t like novels, though.”

“Their only real reason is enjoyment, though I believe some of them hold life lessons. Not all, though. Oftentimes I find them too silly for my taste, but I have a tendency to read through them anyway.”


“I don’t know. It’s a waste of my time. I should probably make some sort of a bargain with myself … for every chapter of any novel I read, I must read a chapter, or even two, of the Bible. That would keep me from reading anything that wasn’t going to benefit my mind.”

“It would,” Alice agreed.

“Besides, I can’t read enough of the Bible,” Peter went on. “I do enjoy God’s Word to a certain level, although sometimes I have to force myself. Who wants to read a lot of details about how the tabernacle was made or a bunch of rules about not eating things I have no intention of eating anyway? I made myself read through those once and have never gotten around to it again, I’m afraid.”

“Those parts don’t really apply to us today, so why read them?” Alice asked.

“Hmm. That’s a hard question. Well, first of all, every word of God’s is precious. Do you concede that?”

“I do.”

“Then obviously we should want to read every word of His! Then there’s finding out more about the history – the background – of God’s people, from whom Jesus came. Also, reading about all those rules the Jews had to follow should only increase our gratitude of Jesus Christ’s gift of grace.”

“I’ve never thought of it that way before,” Alice said, staring thoughtfully at the fire. “Maybe I’ll have to go back to those boring old accounts more often, although I can’t promise to enjoy them.”

“Sometimes you have to force yourself to read the Bible – or at least I do – but I think it’s beneficial.”

“I believe it is. At least, I’ve always been taught …” Alice began, then hesitated. “Sometimes I wonder, though, if the things I’ve been taught … if I can’t explain them myself, then I need to rethink my beliefs. Things that were simple when I was eight are complicated now.”

“That’s how life goes, isn’t it?” Peter asked, not looking for an answer. “As a child, your understanding is so simple, so basic, and everything is so perfect. As your mind begins to mature, you question the things you once accepted innocently. It’s natural.”

“I’m glad of that. I believe I have a good relationship with God, but sometimes …” Alice stopped again.

Just then, Gibson returned. “I’m to walk you into the dining room, Miss Knight,” he said, offering her his arm. “Will you do me the honor?”

“Of course,” Alice replied. She tried not to act too surprised at the honor, though she guessed from the expression on Mrs. Ashfield’s face, that it was highly influenced by Gibson and Gibson alone.


“God, You are so odd, but I’ve sworn myself to You, so I’d best just keep out of it.” ~Peter Strauss, At Her Fingertips. (Excerpt may change with final edits.)

Yeah … sometimes I, um, look up and I’m like, “God, You are so odd!” I know His ways are perfect, but sometimes they’re so dang hard to understand!
~Kellyn Roth

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7 Responses

    Awesome chapter piece. 🙂 I think these two are absolutely sweet and I love seeing Peter’s view, and learning more about Alice… This is really good. I love it.

    1. Peter is a fun POV to write from, mostly because he DOES view life as something he can stand back and watch and comment on (though usually pretty honestly; he’s not sarcastic). 🙂

      1. Yes! 😀 That makes him pretty awesome… It seems that yeah, he’s your kinda ‘normal’ guy, not wanting to make a fool of himself- but he’s got a lot to say and he just kinda sees it all… It is awesome to see him and Alice interact *is only freaking out a *little* *…. He seems to be a good guy. 🙂

        1. Peter is a pretty normal guy … he’s really book-smart and sometimes insightful (though in a different way than Alice is; he’s a lot more optimistic than she is about humankind, for one thing), but he overthinks things. 🙂
          Yeah, I’m freaking out a little over here, too …

  2. Ohhhh … I love this. It makes me so happy to read (despite not knowing who the people are, XP)! Seriously, I love it.
    Congratulations on your word count goals!

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