Chapter 12 progresses

I think I have turned a corner in my struggles with Chapter 12 of The Sleep of Reason. I’ve worked through two of the four scenes that the chapter needs to cover; they were the workmanlike scenes. I have nearly 3,000 words written getting all of that down. Now the fun part can begin.

This chapter introduces a profound shift in the story. My protagonist begins his slip on the slope to his doom. After this chapter, the tone of the story grows more grim and the final act begins. I think it may have been the importance of this that had me befuddled for a while.

I may have mentioned here that one of the editing devices I use when writing is to change the color of certain words or sentences that I need to revisit. If I use red, it means that I can probably delete the material. Generally this is because of some structural change to the story and is more than merely a proofreading edit. I’ll leave the material in but painted red until I can evaluate it when the passions of writing have cooled a bit. I use blue for text that I intend to research further but that I certainly intend to keep. An example is a reference I’ve made to the crisp Autumn air the protagonist breathes. As I noted in a recent post, I’ve not yet nailed down just what time of the year the various scenes take place, so this crisp Autumn air might become humid Summer air before I am finished. I do the same with internal references that I need to verify. Is it Mr. White or Mr. Gray who carries the pocket watch? Rather than interrupt the flow of the words at the moment, I just mark them as blue so I’ll know to research them later.

I’ve reached a point where I can no longer keep all of this story straight in my head. (This happened at about this same point when I was writing Finnegans Afoot.) What I need to do now is read through all that I have written and write a one- or two-sentence synopsis of each chapter. I need a handy reference I can go to, to remember where and when all of the events in the story thus far transpire. In part this will address some of those blue sections that need research, but it will also get me familiar again with the patterns and patterns within patterns that I’m finding are appearing in the work. In fact, I think these lost threads are a good part of the reason I was having so much trouble with Chapter 12 for so long.

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

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