Progress on The Sleep of Reason

In recent days I’ve managed to get down about 1,800 more words on Chapter 7 of The Sleep of Reason. I estimate that puts me a little more than half way through the chapter. This chapter reveals some of the backstory for a couple of other characters, and the timing of the revelations is important for the rest of the plot, so I’m proceeding cautiously. Part of the problem is that the narration is in first person, done by the protagonist. Of course it is in past tense as he relates what has already happened. This is a problem because although he knows in retrospect what has happened, he didn’t know what was coming or what certain things meant at the time he experienced them. Thus I have to be careful about how I tell his story.

For example, there will be a point later in the story when he makes use of a certain resource that he shouldn’t be able to have at all. This has been key to the penultimate crisis of the plot all along. I knew it for so long that I hardly gave it any more thought. Then, in one of those precious, unbidden moments of reflection, I paused to ask myself how he would even come into possession of this resource he shouldn’t have. A very simple and reasonable solution instantly presented itself, using a character already established in the story — a character, by the way, that I knew I had to put to more use anyway. Yet if I left this unaddressed, it would have been a plot hole that readers would have found annoying.

I’ve had a few eureka moments with this chapter where I’ve come to understand my characters better and slipped some bits of plot in place to exploit this newfound knowledge. This is especially gratifying because it enhances the overall plot very well.

Right now I have written 45,000 words of this novel. I estimate I am a bit more than half way through the story I have to tell. I’ve felt good about this work since the missing resolution of the original short story — the reason I had abandoned that story — came to mind about a year ago. I’ve not lost that positive feeling. I just wish I could find more time to write it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Humble efforts, Sleep of Reason

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