Sunday 3rd May 2020
I’m onto editing the second chapter. If chapter 1 is the James Bond pre-credits roll reintroducing the world and protagonist to the reader, then Chapter 2 is when everything gets set up for the book ahead.
This is one of those deceiving little chapters that’s a bit more than a rewrite. In it the protagonist meets up with a secondary character. I had that happen in the first draft, and it pretty much did the same thing in that it sets the protagonist off on their quest. But I think the tone is a little different, and as such the way it needs to set things in motion is a little different.
In the original draft, the protagonist and secondary character were pretty much in agreement and work together to move things forward. In this draft, there’s tension between them as they have differing opinions.
My plan is to use this conflict to force the protagonist forward through a hard rather than an easy choice. This is more a motivation point than an actual plot point and I think I can have a little fun with it by making it a difficult decision that reverberates throughout the book.
I like that there’s conflict between the characters but it also troubles me. I’m having to fight the fact that I know more of how the story progresses, and as a result I’m worried it’s a little too dark and needs a bit of light. I do want the protagonist’s allies to come into conflict with them over the course of the book, but I’m also very aware that one of the changes I need to make is to lighten the book up a little.
I have a chance to do that in a couple of chapters time but there’s still a part of me that worries that it’s too late.
My gut tells me I’m probably being oversensitive about it… but only probably. This scene still needs a little warmth.
All this makes for a bit of a challenge when it comes to writing it. Ordinarily, I’d have a chapter outline and just sit down and write it. This has been a bit piecemeal, where instead, I’m writing key lines of dialogue and then going back and building it out.
It’s early in the second draft so I’m still a little unsure and unsteady. Tone is incredibly important here. Years ago, this could have been a chapter I rewrote 20 or more times to get it right. I’m hoping that my skill as a writer has improved such that I can take what I have, write what I need, and edit the rest to get it tone perfect.
I’m tempted to just embrace the dark of this chapter and run with it. However, that comes with a caveat that the next chapter has to be a lot of fun.
As I need to keep reminding myself… I can always edit it later.
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