Time for a new weekly writer’s roundup of my works-in-progress and those ready to read!
Many small crises occurred this week. Ultimately my wife and I were victorious over each of these annoyances, but the cumulative effect of dealing with them impacted my writing time.
Some were random, like automotive repairs that dragged into hours and multiple visits. Or the billing error that found me coming home to a dark and cold home with the electricity shut off. Thank goodness an after-hours chat with the electric company cleared up the problem before freezing overnight temperatures set-in!
Both lenses of my glasses also decided to shatter into spiderweb patterns of hairline cracks simultaneously, for some unknown reason. That was pretty random. But it was no more than an added chore to replace them as they were still under warranty.
Then there were things we had been putting-off because of the tight economics of the household, stemming from my unemployment. Now that I have a new job and the checks are coming in, we’re playing catch-up on necessities like heating oil
And least we forget, this was also the week of Halloween! As my favorite holiday, I took some time to prepare for it. My wife and I hosted a gathering of friends on Saturday to celebrate the season, including a respectful ritual to speak of and honor the dead. We all shared stores of those who had passed by candlelight, and how they live on in our lives. Many of these were funny, but tears were shared as well. It was a great night, but like hosting any social event it required a lot of preparation beforehand to go off as well as it did.
In the end, I managed to keep my Sunday clear… and used it mostly to revisit chapter fourteen of Vivian’s Last Cigarette. Thanks to that, and a few short sessions of plunking away at it throughout the week, I can say that progress was made on the novel. As I wrote last week, I did a lot of revision after finishing the climax of the book … Rewriting a supporting character and revising the primary antagonists over the course of several chapters. My efforts on Sunday finished the very tail end of that job which remained to be done in chapter fourteen.
That work segued into some very important editing and revision on the climax’s pinnacle. After rereading those passages as I had left them two weeks ago, I began to feel as if Viv wasn’t being given enough agency and initiative when her story arc had its biggest moment of the book. Fixing that problem didn’t require the addition of a lot of words, but it did require a lot of care and consideration to add the right ones. I rewrote a lot of the language of the supporting action to better steer it in the direction I was going for as well.
The end result was the bullseye I wanted, and not the simple hit on the target I had in the first take. Viv makes a choice, clear and simple now. And she reaches the result of her actions through her own efforts, whereas in the initial version that important connotation was murky. Moreover, I found an accommodating beat in the climax where I could best resolve to the romantic plot of the book: Will they or won’t they? The answer came in a simple exchange that was characteristically Viv and Gronk… heartfelt from both, and with Gronk evoking a laugh and smile from Viv. It was perfect. About seven different strands of the story were tied up at once with it.
Primary antagonist Adam had his own arc end immediately thereafter. His came down like a building in demolition, however. It was another bit that received a heavy dose of revision from me. His last words to Viv and Gronk were that things are far from over, but only the reader is privy to the new plot thread dropped thereafter… And it’s a big one. That thread remains unresolved, transforming Adam’s final line into something of an ominous cloud on the horizon. A danger our protagonists are in the dark about, and also an open door for a sequel without a cliffhanger ending.
All in all, the story grew by about a thousand words. Of course that doesn’t show the efforts taken in rewriting a large swath of material, but I’m really happy with how it looks now. I’m confident to move forward, and write the two remaining chapters!
Alright, time for me to stop blogging and get back to writing some more fiction! Take care!