November 4, 2016

A second chapter down

Capping off today at 8594 words, I’ve completed the second chapter. I have some apprehension about such a short chapter–around 2000 words–but I simply can’t think of anything else I should do with it. In fact, the chapter itself was a struggle to write.

First, because this chapter picks up another story thread from the previous book, I had to go back to that book to make sure I had all the details right in order to pick up where I left off. It wouldn’t do for a character to look completely different in the space of a few hours, would it? In examining the last book, I realized a scene in this chapter was substantially similar, too. It makes sense, I suppose: it’s a bit of an exposition dump. But given that I covered similar ground at some length last time, this time I decided to both truncate it and put a different spin on it. I wouldn’t want someone to come into this book, hot off the last one, and get hit with something they just read. So it’s designed more as a brief refresher than a total rehash. At least, that’s the idea! And there’s some new information attached to it, as well.

The other issue is that it’s a very talky chapter. The opening chapter was not. They take different approaches. There’s no action in this one–it’s two characters have a lengthy conversation that includes some difficult, uncomfortable moments.

This was especially challenging because, let’s face it, it’s been a couple years since I had to be in the headspace of these characters. Getting back to understanding who they are and what motivates them took some work. I anticipate some serious rewrites to this chapter down the line, once I’ve mentally “recovered” the characters.

Otherwise, I would say it went well. There were some genuine surprises to the turns in the conversation, since I hadn’t planned out its details excessively. As I was writing it, I came up with the perfect spot to end it as a setup for the next time I return to this storyline. I’m happy with that transition, at least.

Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing the third major story thread into focus. This will be interesting because it’s the most disconnected from the other two and features a POV character who hasn’t had POV before. (She will be a POV character for the rest of the book, though!) So, if today was hard, tomorrow might be harder. Thank goodness it’s the weekend so I’ll have extra time to bang against it.