confidence

I mentioned before that I had somehow written a 4,800-word story that would work well as an early chapter in One-Match Fire. I got the first draft done in two writing sessions (because I know the characters so well and I knew what hole in the narrative needed filling), and I’ve been refining it ever since. It’s part comical and part serious; it deals with a father helping his son face a rite of passage all boys face at a certain age. Plus it makes more clear the cause of a tension that dominates most of the second half of the novel.

I had looked at the 4,800 words, thinking that was really too long for an effective short story, and my refinements had been mostly about trimming the word count. But then I realized it wasn’t going to be a stand-alone story but a chapter in a much larger novel, and aside from being roughly similar in size to the other chapters, I didn’t need to reduce its word count for the sake of fewer words.

Better words, however, remained a goal. I had a first draft in hand, and there was still plenty I could do to it to make it better. In the end I shaved about 300 words, even as I more clearly defined the scenes and the state of the two characters’ minds.

And I’ve added it to the manuscript of OMF, making it the new Chapter Five and titling it “Confidence.” This swells the novel’s word count to 88,000 words. This also required me to add another inter-chapter vignette, which was handy since I used it to give further voice to one of the minor characters.

The word “confidence” has a double meaning, and I use both in the story, literally and thematically. I’m pleased with the new chapter. I think it adds something that was missing in the novel.

Update 18JUN19 – Although I’m thinking of changing the title from “Confidence” to “Rite of Passage.”

Explore posts in the same categories: Fathers and Sons

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