Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finished with Chapter 6

I finished the "rewrite" of Chapter 6 in only a couple hours total, yesterday and today. That's only fair since this was the chapter that caused me the most trouble when I was drafting last summer. In reality, I didn't do any deepening and developing work as with all the other chapters. It was just making sure that some of the details were adjusted to reflect changes in other parts of the book.

I suspect this chapter is going to be one of my biggest problems the next time around through the book, though. It involves the back story and motivation of a secondary character, so it automatically is a difficult technical problem. So far, I've chosen to treat it separately in its own chapter, and there's a big risk of that not working. It heightens the focus and sense of importance of that part of the story and that may feel to the reader like we've veered off the main story. Which can be tantalizing if it promises to weave back in again to make the main story even more complicated, but I'm not sure I have a good plan for holding up the bargain.

Hmm, now that I'm thinking about it . . . I'm right, I don't have a good plan for holding up the bargain, but this is an opportunity to develop a more sophisticated conclusion to the book. The problem isn't necessarily in this chapter but in the resolution of the story later. I'm setting myself up for rewrite problems later on. Intimidating, but intriguing.

In other words, when something feels separate, cutting it out may make the book cohere, but working to make it not separate should make the story richer.

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