Last Friday 2/22 was my Deadline #2 for Writing Without Pants, but it wasn’t until Sunday 2/24 that I finished my chapters. No books perished in the making of these chapters.
Gentoku, my coach in all of this, graciously allowed me an extension. A crisis at work and nursing him through an injury put me back a few days, so I spent most of last weekend catching up and busting out the chapters.
Writing Chapter Two was a steady slog. Getting out each sentence felt like squeezing the last glob of toothpaste out of its tube. You know that jackal that appears? The one that says you’re devoting your life and soul to something that will result in a sacking heap of failure garbage? We had a nice time together.
I received some valuable feedback that helped me pull through and improved the quality. A reader told me that the story was good, but what the chapters lacked was nonverbal communication.
So, I looked it up. As I edited, I saw huge gaps in what my characters thought and felt. As a result valuable details were lost on the reader: a character’s personality, the flow and movement of actions, how the character’s related to each other and their environment.
In the process of writing, I was so focused on getting from point A to B that I didn’t pause to enrich the scene and allow the reader to soak in the people and their environment.
The exercise was also a test to see how well I had developed the characters. It made me ask what they were thinking and feeling in any given moment. If I didn’t know the answer, then I didn’t know my characters very well. They have to be more than vehicles that move you through the story.
With Chapter Two complete the book feels like it’s taking shape. It’s starting to feel more like a book, and I’ve built momentum that is steadfast and sure.