Chapter Eighteen is completed!

And none too soon either. I’ve been struggling with this chapter for weeks — far too long. In my efforts, I found that I needed to move a great deal of the protagonist’s dread realizations to the next chapter. I had gone back and forth about it, thinking that I didn’t have the material for a whole chapter but then realizing once I got far enough into Chapter Eighteen that I had too much material. As it is, the chapter stands at 5,320 words, which is a bit higher than average for chapters in this novel.

It ends abruptly, too, but I think it ends perfectly. All that needs to be said gets said. I could have continued with the protagonist musing on what is learned in the chapter, but if I leave it as written and leave it for the reader to muse on what is learned, it will deliver a much more effective punch in the gut. At least I think it will.

Part of the reason I had such a hard time with this chapter, I think, was that early on in writing it I had my realization that I would need to rewrite the entire novel with a third-person narrator in order to achieve the “story behind the story,” which I’ve mumbled about here already. Thus I found myself imagining the narrative with an ear toward how I will also write it with the new narrator. Double work, it was. I had decided soon after understanding I would need to change the narrator that I needed to complete the novel with my current first-person narrator just so I have a whole work for when I revise. So I’m pushing through to the end in first-person mode, but my thoughts have been looking ahead to the rewrite at the same time.

As I conceive the beast right now, there are two more chapters to come. The end is in sight, but as hard as I found Chapter Eighteen to write, I think Chapter Nineteen will be harder. The protagonist finally understands his situation, and I must depict that without giving away too much.

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

One Comment on “Chapter Eighteen is completed!”

  1. Gerald Says:

    Not much to add, but your need for narrator is where I’ve arrived with a fix for my first novel. The technical difficulties with a first person approach were insurmountable. A second novel works quite well without a narrator. Interestingly, I didn’t give too much thought to “narrator as character”, so thanks for that. I realize that my narrator is a real person, though invisible, but helps to have the image to stay on-voice. Great blog, thanks, as is Emma Darwin’s blog. Cheers.

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