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4, 3, 2, 1

Only three more pages last night. Leaving 4 pages to the NIN goal -- and apparently a point somewhere halfway to two-thirds through the novel. The current chapter is long. Like 55 pages long and I'm only 10 pages into it.

Pacing is one of the issues I've tried to address with the rewrite. The novel's last version ran to 13 chapters for various reasons (inspirational material, a desire to adhere to a structure that flowed naturally into the next book, "get the story written") and I ended up with some early chapters that worked, but had the story jumping round. Character J moved forward through a night and day in one chapter and then I had Character C moving through the same night and day in the next chapter. This was all through Part Two, and it carried over into the early chapters of Part Three. Except the chapters there weren't as looonnnnggg. Or didn't seem so because they covered a shorter time span with less detail.

Anyway, I broke the Part Two chapters in half, and I'm happy with the modifications. I feel this middle section moves a lot faster than it did in the previous draft. It's probably a function of what the characters were doing, which was a lot of traveling. This is 1918 and neither J or C necessarily wanted to go where they were being taken, so I had to establish why they went and how it changed them as characters within the narrative. As well as plug in all the juicy plot and foreshadowing bits.

The process of writing a novel for me is like bonsai . You start with a seed, plant it, water it, watch it put down roots. all the research that either goes on proactively or just in your head or in your dreams. Early chapters represent the trunk. Later chapters where the story and characters develop and change are the branches. A very organic experience. I knuckle down during the rewrites, pruning and shaping like any respectable gardener should.

Which isn't to say I don't have a rough outline in place before I start. Fallen owes its tempo (and working title) to the debut album by Evanescence. It had a prologue/short story. And I knew where I wanted to end up. It's the "getting there" that's organic and where the mysterious part of this craft comes into play.

So ... 3 pages down and 4 to go. Only 3 pages down because it's not easy explaining why vampire hunters (at least, my vampire hunters) are so screwed up and unique. It's not easy, but it's fun. The next eight pages, which I'll hopefully get through today, is a section where I get to show how one of the villains became such a bastard. :-)

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