How To Write a Novel — Bomb

Day 56 of writing my novel in public

Photo by Nima Sarram on Unsplash

I’ve started something scary here on Medium. It’s something I’ve done before, but never in public. I have a process that I’m going to follow, and I’d like to share it with you.

If you want to follow the journey from the start, go here.

If you missed yesterday’s, you can find it here.

Day 55 — Bomb

I’m coming to the end of the sequence that I have been writing over the last few days. Charlie has been exploring The Smell Tower, searching for the secret floor 68. He found it and hid and now overhears some of Miasmus’ plan to set off a bomb.

At the moment I have that Miasmus catches Charlie and I’m going to write it that way, although I’m uncertain if it is the right way to go. It certainly raises the stakes for Charlie if Miasmus knows he is onto him, but it may be a little tricky to pull off.

These are the story threads to weave in today.

  • Charlie finds Miasmus’ is planning a bomb. Miasmus finds him and gives chase.
  • Boo and Kay come sniffing round Charlie. He feeds them with the secret recipe — so he doesn’t have any left. They start to parple and force Charlie out of hiding.
  • Charlie learns a bomb will go off at the Launch Event

Against the clock

In order to write rather than thinking about writing, I’m going to work against the clock. I’ll start a timer for fifteen minutes and write until it goes off. Three bursts like this should allow me to write the 750 words for today.

Using the shelves as steps Charlie climbed up onto the shelf and crawled behind the box just as three people came into the room. He peered round the box. Two of them wore white lab coats whilst the third wore a white suit — Miasmus.

“With the end so close, I don’t want anything to go wrong. Where are we with the plans for the day itself?” he said.

“Everything is in order. We have made sure that the crowds will be just as we need them when it happens,” the taller man replied.

“And the launch device, are you sure that it is primed properly I wouldn’t want there to be any accidents.”

This time the smaller man answered. “The bomb is prepared. We have to run a test but I don’t imagine there will be any problem there.”

Charlie gasped. He didn’t mean to but the word bomb made him and before he realised it was out.

“What was that?” said Miasmus, his eyes scanning the room.

“Probably just one of those pigs of yours,” said the tall man, “They’ve been under our feet all day.”

“Boo and Kay are here?” said Miasmus sounding shocked.

“Somewhere. He made the mistake of feeding the one with studded collar an apple and then we couldn’t get rid of them.”

“Hey, I didn’t feed him the apple. He just took it. That was my lunch,” said the shorter man.

Charlie heard a snuffling near the shelf he was hiding on. Kay was sniffing around the floor. No doubt he’d smelt Charlie and was wondering what was going on.

“I don’t want Boo and Kay in here. Is that understood?” said Miasmus, “Kay gets hungry and I wouldn’t want him eating the bomb.”

“That would not be good,” agreed the smaller man.

Charlie shifted his weight, hoping to shoo Kay away. He reached into his pocket to see if he had anything he could throw to distract him. He pulled out the test-tube and rested it on the shelf and dug underneath for the pencil underneath.

Just as he did so Kay snorted and looked straight at the box of fish. Charlie shrank back but knocked the test-tube. It rolled forward and dropped to the ground, smashing in the process. Charlie watched horrified as Kay ran forward and started lapping up the liquid pool that spread out from the broken tube.

“That must be him,” said Miasmus, “One of you go and get him please.”

“I’m not going near that pig. It’ll have my fingers,” said the short man.

“It’s your fault he’s here in the first place,” said the other.

Charlie had made himself as small as he could behind the box and his limbs were starting to cramp. He tried to stretch as best he could without knocking anything else.

“You two are hopeless, I’ll get him,” said Miasmus.

Two strides and he was standing only a few feet from Charlie.

“What have you got there?” he said to Kay, picking her up.

As he did so, Kay released a cloud of gas from her rear. It whooshed into the air like a burst balloon, a yellow and purple wash like bruised wind. Charlie took a deep breath, hoping to avoid it, but he was too late. He inhaled a noseful of the gas and his vision swam with a shimmer of the terrible smell. It was easily the worst smell he had ever seen. He tried to hold it inside but there was no way. With a great retch he spluttered the air inside him out and crawled away as fast as he could.

Miasmus had the same idea. His eyes watered with the stench and he strode across the room away from the source, seeing Charlie lying out on the shelf.

“You! Stop there!” Miasmus said, grabbing hold of Charlie’s collar and pulling him down.

Charlie tried to smile as though crawling along the shelves in a secret stink lab was a normal thing for a twelve year old to do.

“What do you think you’re doing?” said Miasmus. Kay had trotted along behind him and sat at his feet looking up at Charlie with the same look in his eye.

“Me?” said Charlie, his brain racing. “I’m not doing anything.”

“You should be doing something. You should be icing cupcakes. How did you end up in here?”

“I… I…. I…” began Charlie, “I got turned around after the fire alarm went off. I was icing the cupcakes and started to head down the stairs. It is such a long way down from the kitchens and I started to get really tired so I decided to take a quick rest in here. Then the alarm stopped and I crawled onto one of the shelves to have a little lie down.”

Miasmus didn’t look as though he believed him. For a long moment he stared at Charlie, then said, “I’ll have Staghorn come and take you back to the kitchens. She can keep an eye on you, make sure we don’t have any more delays.”

Reflections

Today was not the best writing day. I’m tired and not feeling it, and I’m sure that the words I’ve written will need major revision, but I still feel a sense of accomplishment at having completed today’s words.

Total words so far 27,717.

Tomorrow I will write the scene where Charlie tries to persuade Staghorn that Miasmus is planning a bomb.

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If you want to try the process with me and write your own novel, I’d love to have you join me on this journey. Put in the comments on how you went with this step.

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