Project 1 Chapter 5
So I had a prologue, and the first few chapters were hurtling along. I was pretty happy with myself, 'this isn't so hard' was rattling around in my mind, closely followed by 'should've tried this earlier'...
The story was beginning to unfold, the characters were starting to form and the relationship connections were being made. I was getting a picture in my head of the coastal township of Port Kinsale, and how this family unit was coping.
I finished Chapter 5 and went straight into Chapter 6. I was on a roll. I was enjoying this process, this story.
That's when it happened. The final line of Chapter 6. But the problem actually started in Chapter 5 - I just didn't know it at the time.
In Chapter 5, a person appears - at the art gallery. Well, let me tell you, originally it was a man, then I changed it to a woman, then back to a man, then it was both a woman and a man and then back to a man, and it remained a man until the last line of Chapter 6.
It was that last line that threw me off course.
Depending on who speaks that last line, the story could go in one of two directions - and I don't mean just a small directional change - no, this was major - this would impact on the whole plot. Once taken, the direction of this story is sealed by this one line. (A bit of hyperbole there - it could be easily changed if needed, it would just mean a massive rewrite.)
When I get stuck on something, I like to think about it with a dog walk. Ruby, the three-legged rescue, is always willing for a walk to help me sort things out. We walked, several times, even tried a new path rather than the same route we always do.
I have changed Chapters 5 & 6 three times - changed who says the last line of Chapter 6 and then proceeded with Chapter 7. Then changed the speaker and added a new Chapter 7. Then changed it back and cut and paste the first Chapter 7, then changed it back... Each time I did this, I also had to change Chapter 5. Not only has it been frustrating, but it has also meant that I haven't gotten past Chapter 7!
I actually toyed with the idea of having two manuscripts - one with unknown character being a man and then the other with it being a woman. A step too far.
When I sat down this morning to write, I decided that this flip flopping was not going to work, and it's time to try something new.
I am not a great planner - not of the longer manuscripts. I like to plan the junior series in great detail and find it very helpful to keep the detail consistent across the series. Just like adding two unrelated chapters together to make something new - maybe it's time to add two techniques together to keep this story going.
Time to plan.
I have a large notepad. I'm going to divided it down the centre and plan out how I think the story may go for each of the characters that have so far laid claim to that last line of Chapter 6.
I have no idea how this will go, but when you read Chapter 5 you will know that I have made the decision and you will just have to wait a bit longer to see what is actually said in the last line of Chapter 6 - but at least you know who is going to say it.
It will be then that you will realise the reason why I have been back and forth on this aspect of the story - you will also be able to work out who the other character was and maybe even, like me, wonder where that plot would have gone.
I wonder if this is how those 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books started?