Okay, I just updated my NaNoWriMo word count but did not realize I was in “Words this session” mode instead of “Total words” mode so my word count just hilariously doubled and the website sent me the winner badge. Deleting the faulty entry from progress update didn’t help so…
Anyhow…there’s one thing I forgot to do in the last commentary and that is to compile all the chapters into a table of content with major arcs highlighted with tentative chapter titles and notes (mostly for me because this is getting a bit too difficult to back-reference). I’m going to pin this to the front page for ease of reference.
Actual word count as of latest chapter: 32840 / 50000
The shooting escape arc
#2 – Escape in the night (climax 1, too rapid descent, explore the apartment more before the sword discovery, increase suspense before the discovery)
Fukuoka High intro arc
#6 – Enemies of his enemy (increase suspense before Sayaka’s arrival)
#7 – Battle in the hallways (climax 2, too rapid descent)
#8 – The old tailless (Omuta filler arc, possible expansion into a full arc)
Fukuoka High return arc
#10 – The good students (scrap the unnecessary background info on Sayaka; keep only the part that she’s poor. Scrap also the forced explanation of climax 2’s victory, no one really cares how she won or if they do, refrain from railroading into an info dump like this.)
#11 – What lies beneath a victory (increase suspense from all the missing students, explore the teacher’s reactions more. Rewrite accordingly to #10)
#12 – Fukuoka’s first lieutenant (increase suspense before Mori’s arrival)
#14 – Shock tactic (increase suspense before the schoolyard fight, use Heiji’s messages to build tension)
#15 – A deadly duel (climax 3, increase suspense before Sayaka’s betrayal)
After the coma/hospital arc
#16 – Lesson from the old boss (Dream/flashback arc, filler, cut Yuki’s intro)
#19 – Identity of the traitor (increase suspense before revelation)
#20 – Specter of the past (increase suspense at DNA result reveal. Cut out Sayaka’s background info here)
#21 – Blindfold shogi (increase suspense at Ms. Ishikawa’s offer to write the game record and at Hanbei’s answer. Lengthen the interaction to convey more hidden messages and flesh out the characters)
#23 – Allergic to evil (cut the unnecessary backstory!)
#25 – Tail of betrayal (begin the nosedive before the final climax, slower buildup towards Sayaka’s betrayal, perhaps a few lines of dialogue)
#27 – Reunion (turning point)
- Give Sayaka a separate character arc and put it before the hospital arc. Build rapport with the boss.
- Flesh out Daisuke’s character more, give him more reasons to resort to extreme actions. In other words, lengthen Fukuoka arc. Build hostility with the boss.
- Everything about Sayaka’s background should be scrapped and sprinkled around as foreshadow instead of being spelled out directly here. The fact that she is a Kojima and Yamashita plays no part in the current story progression.
- More foreshadows on Daisuke’s relation with Ishii
- More foreshadows on Ishii being alive and a traitor
- More focus on the boss’ stubbornness and recklessness in action + contrasting it with Daisuke’s more cautious approach. “Never back down” vs. “Know when to back down” secondary conflict.
- Between the rapport arcs and the final conflict, there should be a slow build-up of external surveillance from the syndicate. When schoolyard squabbles thin out, introduce external dangers to the gameboard.