I've finally figured it out!
After sixteen days of fighting and just barely staying only one day behind my word count, a whole new vein has opened up. I can't wait to start it (don't worry, I've written it down so I won't forget).
The problem here was that I wanted to focus almost exclusively on Rudy, but since he's stuck in his circumstances there isn't much for him to do. To get through Week Two, I simply got his friends high and had them play a four-person game of Mafia (one of players on the phone).
If you're not familiar with Mafia, it's kind of a role-playing game where you kill each other off in your imaginary little town, but it requires a group of at least eight to work well. Also, the killing is done by pointing and nonverbal signals while everyone else's eyes are closed -- having one of the players on the phone lets everyone know who's being killed by whom, meaning your game pretty much lasts one round instead of a dozen or so.
Anyway, I've discovered that while Rudy is the pivotal character -- all the action in the book is as a direct result of who he was and what happened to him -- the book is more about Preston than anyone else (at least right now).
I knew Clayton and Preston's reactions would be a big part of the book but I can't let Clayton recover too easily (after all, he was Rudy's best friend) and I was planning on Preston being the rock through the whole situation. My problem though was that I was trying to keep Preston too neutral about the whole thing... a little shocked maybe, but not much more than that.
But something like this would rock his world. It would take his faith and turn it on its head. It would bring him to question everything he's strived for.
So as of today I'm introducing a new character -- Preston's friend Jon. I think Jon is going to be more of the 'rock' character than Preston, since he's fairly removed from the whole situation... his only connection is Preston, who himself wasn't directly involved. (Also, Jon's a Lecrae fan... music in the story tends to help it along, I've found.)
My statistics so far (note that I haven't written anything today yet):
Goal for Day Sixteen: 25,806
Word count so far: 24,007
I'm not out of this contest yet!