Monday, May 9, 2011


So frustrated.

My supposed solution to the opening didn't survive even a glance from my wife. The flashback, even with the bright lines of chapter breaks around it, feels too confusing still.

So I'm making another run at combinations of previously rejected solutions. One, I just cut out the preface. Two, the book starts with Chapter 1 in the present action. Three, "essential parts" of the preface are woven into the first chapter as exposition and flashback, hopefully without too much sense of interruption. Four, the major scene from the preface is salvaged almost in its entirety by putting it in a spot later on Chapter 3 where I had never considered it before.

The result, so far, by the way, is reduction of about 1,200 words. I guess that must be the sum of the preface that didn't cut pasted in anywhere.

It's a messy patch job for now, and I have no real sense of whether or not it works. Does the book get to the action soon enough? (Which was the whole point of having the preface.) Does the escalation of the character's understanding of her problem still move at the right pace? Does the interplay of internal and external conflict still work? Does it even make sense anymore at a literal level?

And my careful balance of the chapter lengths . . . gone. Ch. 3 is now 19 pages.

I'm a little bit exhausted by the work. And I'm not feeling great about having to do it. I want this problem to be behind me so badly.

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