Monday 11th May 2020

I mentioned yesterday how I’ve been working on chapter 2 of this novel.  As I said, with scenes like this that are predominantly character based, I tend to work on key moments of dialogue and spider out.

I’ll start with snippets of script, fleshing it out with connecting dialogue, attribution, character action and setting as I build and build this into a proper chapter.

I’ve taken some of the first draft as well, mixing that in – although weirdly, it now works with the arguments made by both characters being swapped to the other.  That results in me having to rewrite some lines of dialogue to be in that character’s voice.

I’ve kept theme in mind as I do all this.  I feel this chapter sets up a lot of the book.  Chapter 1 was a reintroduction to the protagonist, a way to get everyone quickly back up to speed,  Chapter 2 is where the promise to the reader gets made, theme gets established, and the protagonist is propelled into the story that is about to take place.

The page is a mess.  I have blank lines trying to delineate pieces of the scene I’m working on, old drafts as well as bits that need to move later.  It reads more as scraps of several different chapters rather than a single concise one.  As I connect these pieces, those blank lines will start to disappear and a proper chapter will be born.

Sometimes, in order to connect them, I need to write new material.  I need the argument to flow, and whilst this is something I think I could get better at, I think at the moment if I tried to structure it too much, it would seem too false.  So instead, I just think what needs to be said to get the discussion from this scrap to that scrap.

And so it was that I found myself writing a massive piece of lore.  This hadn’t been planned, I hadn’t even thought about it, but as I wrote it, it felt like I had always known it.

Of course, I worry that this is a massive infodump.  Ordinarily I’d hide this by breaking it up with some sort of character action.  I might be able to do that still as I’ve really not got to the stage where I’ve fleshed that bit out.

But at the same time, this infodump does set up the novel.

If I’ve learnt anything about my writing, it’s that I have to often tell myself that whilst all the information might be needed, it can be trickled out over a number of chapters, so perhaps it just doesn’t belong here.  Or perhaps it does.  I don;t know yet.

But it is lovely when things like this happen.  As I have pieces of story all over the place making me feel like some form of Dr Frankenstein, to have those moments of pure creativity to remind me that I still have the ability to write (and not just redraft) are welcome.

There’s still a lot of work to do on this chapter but I do feel like progress is being made.

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