Friday 5th February 2021

I’m still absolutely shattered today.  Whilst I didn’t have any more seminars,  staying up until about 5am the last 3 nights have put my sleep schedule all out of whack, even after catching up on missing sleep.

As a result, today was a bit of a nothing day.  I look at it in kinda the same way I look at the day after a big tournament or geocaching walk.  It’s all part of the achievement.  In order to do what you have the previous day, there’s a price to pay.  Yes, today’s a write-off but only because you needed to put extra effort into the previous day.  They’re all part of the same accomplishment.

So for once I wasn’t frustrated with my lack of progress.

Had I not had the seminars this week, I would have been working on editing The Shop At The Bottom Of The Hill, or re-reading another short story.

I have been thinking about the former though.

I’ve been trying to work out what I don’t like about the end.  I tell the story I want to tell, yet the end feels like me hitting a bunch of notes close to, but not THE note.  It’s an emotional beat, and I somehow miss it even though I get close.

My tactic for dealing with this is to unwind the story.  First what’s the emotional beat or note I’m trying to strike.  I may rewrite the end first, so I get that – although, continuing the musical analogy,  all too often the right note is dependent on matching the key of the rest of the story.

I also need to look at character arcs.  This story centers on two characters, only referred to as You and I.  I think You’s emotional arc is 90% of the way there.  It just needs tightening up in places.  The other character though, I feel on reflection today,  needs a clearer arc with emotional beat points.  They’re currently everything at once and it manifests itself as a bit of indecision.  I want to maintain some of the indecision but have clearer emotional growth.

This will mean going through and establishing a bit more of an order to things.  The character thinks X at this point.  This piece of plot causes them to alter their opinion to Y.  Then something else will happen, and they will decide Z.

It all feels a bit clinical, but this is looking at it with an editor’s eye.  I need to look at what it is that I’m trying to say and make it clearer.

This will probably need some thought over the weekend but hopefully I can take this shaggy rough draft and make it a little tighter, and in doing so, make the end hit the pitch perfect note that I want.

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