Chapter 7 has no reason to exist

Not long after writing yesterday’s overly confident post about how I didn’t foresee any structural changes to my novel in progress, I decided I needed to make a structural change. Specifically, I’ve decided that chapter 7 has no reason for existing.

I’ve noted in recent posts here that I was having repeated difficulties with chapter 6, which I think I have more or less resolved, and now I find that chapter 7 is a waste of bits and bytes. I found that I was repeating myself, saying again what I had already said in earlier chapters but not saying it as well as I had before. They really are weak chapters, and I couldn’t understand why this would happen in the middle of a novel.

I have figured it out.

Those two chapters were the casualties of my hard drive crash more than a year ago. I had lost what I had originally written for chapters 6 and 7 (due to my shameful lack of rigor and vigilance in making backups) and had to rewrite them. I think this explains why they are so anemic and ill fitting and repetitive. I understand now why they have troubled me so much.

Chapter 7, in particular, is not carrying its weight in the story. It is the shortest chapter (aside from the climaxing last chapter) and I see how it could easily be chopped into pieces and scattered into nearby chapters. The first third of the existing chapter is comprised of the stuff I’ve found to be repetitive, and I can move the useful bits to earlier chapters if they supplement or enhance them, or I can delete the pieces entirely. The latter two thirds include an important conversation, and I can see how it could be moved to chapter 8, which, however, is a bit lengthy already.

Not to worry, gentle reader. I can split the swollen chapter 8 in twain. The latter half of that chapter is tremendously important and probably merits its own treatment. The former half can thus be supplemented with the important conversation currently in chapter 7 and thus stand on its own as a worthy new chapter 8.

All it’s going to take is a lot of hard work. Nothing to it!

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