Monday 13th July 2020
Social plans got cancelled tonight due to a friend being ill. Thankfully not Covid related. But it gave me the opportunity to get a lot of work done on the draft.
The bulk of it was spent on the new chapter. For what ended up being a very short chapter, it took a lot of time but this was always going to be one of the most challenging in this draft.
It proved that the challenge wasn’t writing the new bits, but taking some of the old bits and sprucing them up. I’d not gone over the specific old draft I took part of this chapter from for a few years and going back… it felt old. In my head I have to separate something I’m over familiar with to the point it’s lost it’s shine from writing that feels a little clunky.
Maybe this is me, seeing how much I’ve improved as a writer. I’m still not entirely sure. I’m not precious about it, so an amusing section got cut down, because the scene is funny but ultimately too long.
I suspect I’ll go back to that chapter and give it another read over. In the past, I would get stuck on chapters and dwell on them for weeks. Now, perhaps as I get more confident in my abilities, I’ll get the chapter done but then move on, and revisit it out of sequence if there are any lingering doubts.
More often than not, the problems have been fixed, and the doubts are caused by bits I’ve already changed or removed. I worry it’s easy to get lazy and just accept that a scene has been done the best it can be. That’s not an excuse for me.
What’s good is that I’m enjoying the process still and I’m now in the latter half of the novel. Technically this should be easier, although I need to make sure all the plot threads are set up in the first half are woven into the second.
I have one of the biggest chapters in the book next, and I need to introduce a secondary antagonist I’ve been delaying introducing. I’m hoping this gives them a much cleaner introduction and gives them opportunity to shine. It’ll mean changing a lot of dialogue though. In my head, I think it means I can take the dialogue that’s there already and make it better because the discussion now not only becomes about situation but about establishing character as well.
That’s the plan anyway.
I’m just happy I got a lot of writing done.
And interspersed with that was reading the latest Jim Butcher: Peace Talks. I managed to finish it late last night. Ordinarily, I’d dedicate an episode of The Climb to a review, but given how I got the book early and how people are going to be very spoiler-wary on this one (even to the degree that if you say there aren’t many spoilers, that in itself could be a spoiler) then I think it’s difficult to review it. Best to just say that I’m glad that Battle Ground is only a few months away as this book sets that up perfectly.
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