Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Best laid plans

So, like I intended, I sat down to spend time some on some technical work with the novel last night. However, unlike I intended, I decided that chopping the current chapter into two, in order to facilitate the chunks that were missed, wasn't the best approach. Because, as I sat down to it, I realized that what was missed didn't seem to be enough to justify a chapter.

So, instead, I decided to weave into the current chapter. This approach would actually allow me to accomplish a couple of different things.

First, it would allow me to get at what was missing -- essentially, at least one confrontation with a character that A) we needed to be reminded about; and B) needed to become at least slightly more threatening, as well as a scene where the main character and narrator gets fired (which is somewhat necessary to do what I plan to in the epilogue).

Second, by weaving this material into the current chapter, it will make the chapter even longer, and even more rambling, which was the intention for this chapter from the get go. I want to try to stretch out over twenty pages, jumping all over the place, without any sort of direction, and adding even more to it would help accomplish that, as the way it was originally sitting, I had given up on it before it crossed the 20 page mark.

Thirdly, it keeps me from breaking up the one-chapter-on, one-chapter-off pattern of the flashback scenes, which would have happened if I had only added a single chapter before the current one.

The only thing I'm not sure of is whether or not adding the material to the current chapter helps to fix what I was starting to fear was a pacing problem at the end of the book. Assuming there was a pacing problem. It was just sort of a gut feeling, and nothing I knew for sure -- and likely not something I'll know for sure until I finish it, leave it for awhile, and then go back to read it over again at some point in the future.

Of course, if that pacing problem *is* there, then it'll mean a pretty serious hack-and-slash edit job on the last third of the novel to fix it. But I'm going to go ahead with it this way anyway, for now. Because it's what seems right.

Novel work is on the agenda again for tonight, then I'll probably drift to something new tomorrow, just to keep things in my head fresh. It occurred to me last night that I should have a comedy of some kind on the go at the moment, for the days when I'm feeling, you know, funny, and not dark and gloomy. Which, lately, has seemed pretty unlikely, but I think I may be dusting off "Guts" just to be on the safe side.

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