Saturday, November 5, 2016

Writing the last chapter of "Lucifer's Forge" today.

Funny thing is, I've already written it once. Back when the agent asked for "100 kickass" pages. I felt the story started off a little slow, so I wrote a flashforward chapter with events from the very end of the book.

But other than the main character and the overall arc, everything else about this attempt is wrong. Wrong characters, wrong timeline.

I have 2000 words sitting here that I could try to adapt. But I think it might be safer just to start from scratch.

When I say I'm writing the last chapter, I mean the last chapter in the book.

But I have one more chapter to write--the first chapter.

I have another action-packed first chapter in mind now than the original flashforward. It is basically a flashback that establishes the motivations and tone for the rest of the book.

Anyway, this just points out why my effort at "100 kickass" pages was doomed from the start; for the very same reasons that I don't write short stories or outlines or why my sample chapters sent to agents never get a response.

My strength, if you will, is in the overall book, the way the plot weaves together, the development of the characters. I think, if a reader gives me a chance, that they will have an overall enjoyable experience, that there is a satisfying chunk of writing.

I understand the imperative--the attention grabbing first scenes, the increasing tension, the need to constantly engage the reader's interest.

But...well, I tell a story the way the story comes out. Not an excuse. If it's boring, then it's my fault. But I think my pacing is all right, I think my character development is all right, I even think I have enough plot points to keep the reader engaged.

What I don't like is the idea of artificially pumping it--the action, the drama. Yes, be mindful that action and drama are needed, but hopefully by keeping the overall story foremost in mind.

I like the overall arc of a story, how it develops, and that is something that doesn't exist until it is finished. Writing "100 kickass" pages was essentially trying to write an outline, and I'm not surprised it didn't work.

I compromised on that 100 page outline--moving chapters around, taking a couple of chapters out, writing that flashforward first chapter. When I came back to this book, the first thing I did was restore it to it's original conception.

Fuck the smarmy "100 kickass" pages request. The book is complete, and damn it, I like it better this way.

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