I finished Chapter 14 early this morning and spent the bulk of the day writing all the notes for Chapters 15-17. What was originally Chapter 17 is now, Chapter 18 and looks like it is okay to stand as-is, but with all the shifting and re-writing today, I worry about the overall story I have to tell.
For the past two chapters, I’ve dealt with some pretty dark material and it seems that the next few chapters spring out of that darkness into not necessarily light-hearted material, but still not as dense as it had been. What’s unfortunate about this is that after weeks of dark, obscure dialogue and prose, I’m finally coming to surface to breathe and now these latter chapters just seem plain unnecessary. It’s almost as if, since they’re not as deep as their predecessors, they are meaningless. I’m left to wonder what they do to move along the story, which brings me to the idea of Dana Barrington.
Once upon a time, I think I wanted her and Damen to have this My Antonia thing going throughout the second half of the novel, but nowadays, I look at her and wonder what her purpose is. At this point, I’m considering removing her altogether because I see how she fits now and into a single chapter, but I don’t see how she affects the rest of the story and so, she has become superfluous. The problem, however, is that I like her now and I don’t really want to get rid of a character I’ve spent so much time crafting.
I suppose she shows how mean and horrible Jessie is and that Brit actually does get jealous when other girls are around Damen, but what does that mean to the final chapters of the book? If Dana’s not going to help Damen develop into a stronger character by the end of this, then she’s unnecessary. So, now I’m left with trying to either conjure something for her or remove her entirely. The worst part of all is that I know I’ll have my work cut out for me trying to bring her further into the fold, whereas it would be really simple to cut her from this. Decisions, decisions.
Perhaps, I’ve some other notes that go into detail about her significance to the rest of the story, or maybe some inspiration will strike. Maybe she’ll be the happy medium for Damen between Corey and Brit. Maybe she’ll end up signifying something worthwhile…I don’t know.
Even though I probably wrote over 3K words today in all my notes for the next three chapters, I only wrote until I finished Chapter 14, which was 943 words (time wishing he could ask his father for guidance.). I’m not sure how much success I’ll have this week in writing Chapter 15 considering all that’s coming for first-job this week, but at least my outlines are there, so I won’t have much of an excuse to not make 250 words each night.
I’ve definitely slowed in my progress and I think I can see the light. It’s just all the shifting and re-crafting the events in each chapter into what I’ve earlier written that’s causing some issues. I’ll work through it though. As my piano teacher keeps telling, I’ve got to take things slow. If I take it slow now, everything will come together much better later.