35k, so my goal for today is reached. My personal writing goal has been modified to take into account missing some days while I am in Delaware; if you are shooting for an average words/day rate to hit 50k, by the end of today you should have 28,322 (roughly 1,666*17). Spoilers below, so avoid reading this if you want to be able to read the mouse story when it is done without being spoiled.
Today in fiction, the tone in the piece has slowly been sliding from a sort of heroic quest to a bit of a darker story of a society imploding on itself. The tone shift really happened, I think, starting with when Mosey and his two heroic companions have their first major success. Together, the three of them defeat a large rat and claim one of the three missing items the scientist has asked them to get.
After giving our readers that dash of hope, we get to start looking at the underpinnings of the Overlook. We see that there are factions within the council of elders that are at the breaking point. We get to see them taking moves to counter each other, even though they're not fully aware of what the stakes are yet. A minor character, one of the elders, has her one real scene, where she warns Thomas of a coming storm and basically tells him to get his pride in check. Then, she dies under mysterious circumstances after warning the other council members that something threatens the stability of the Overlook.
I really like how the story has started to spiral out of control, but only the reader is really aware of all the moving parts. I had wanted to avoid having any actually evil people as villains, but the appeal of watching the Lawful Neutral elder slip into a Lawful Evil well-intentioned extremist who sees that the council has been, frankly, screwing up the safety of the Overlook. The reader learns that, recently, there's been a new outbreak of some plague, a series of scouts killed in stupid ways, and that hostile forces have been clumsily integrated during peace treaties, which has lead to continued skirmishes with nomad/splinter forces, including spies infesting their ranks.
It really changes the driving narrative, for everyone but the hero. He is still focused on finding these artifacts, returning to the king and rescuing the other captive lab mice. Too bad everyone but his companions are knee-deep in mousey intrigue.
Today is a space lecture. Specifically, The Dynamic Sun. If you live in D.C. and want to see me (but not see me to kill me), you'll find me there. If you want to kill me, I will not be there. I'm like Schrödinger's Cat like that.