Friday, January 1, 2010

Sequel Chapter two done (hopefully)

So, a few weeks ago I was thrilled to revise the first chapter of my second book in my series. I finally came up with a concept that worked. A concept that conveyed all the items and tensions I needed, with action and compassion and characterization.

Chapter three is strong. Chapter four is even stronger.

But chapter two... well, with a new chapter one, I had to toss chapter two to the dogs. It didn't make sense. For days, I have puttered around the house trying to come up with what I needed to do in chapter two. Oh, the mundane realities of what came next were easy, but as I sat down to write, I realized, 12 pages in... I had pertinent information, but nothing that advanced the plot.

I had too many new characters introduced, random conversations in the kitchen, detailed getting ready for bed rituals, even 800 words on how to cover a bruise with make-up.

So I needed to consider my objectives for the chapter and list my housekeeping items:
  • acclimate the reader to the layout of √Čtienne's house
  • foreshadow some of √Čtienne's relationship struggles
  • develop a secondary character, but not ALL of them, not in the same chapter
  • construct more of an identity for the deceased character
  • have the characters find the secret sketchbook
Now, in addition, I tend to write my chapters almost like short stories, with a central action. So I needed something to fuse these ideas.

At it's simplest, chapter one breaks down to this:
The main character heads to a bar, meets an old acquaintance who dated the now deceased character, has a hallucination and gets into a fight.

Chapter two now goes something like this:
Character goes home, has heart-to-heart with old friend/employee and in the morning, they pack deceased characters clothes until her parents arrive.

How can such simple things cause such pain?

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