author’s note: chapter 4
Posted by jeanne
looking back over the progress of chapter 4, i am astonished to see that i started working on it almost a month ago. at this rate, i won’t be finished with the novel for another 3.5 years. hahahahaha.
it’s way too long for a chapter, even tho i loaded it with breaks. i think i’m getting stuck inside the research and trying to include too much. altho nobody is saying anything; in fact there’s a great silence in the world regarding my novel.
not that there’s not a lot of interest in quantum physics, not that there’s not interest in antarctica, or in consciousness. it’s just that i’m in a cone of silence, kind of like when i did a morning radio show in college, and was totally convinced that all the radios were turned off. but even there, it’s not like there aren’t countless people out there doing exactly what i’m doing, working on modelling the world we want to live in. because the way you think becomes the way you are, and all that mystical stuff.
having friends of all stamps on facebook, i can channel reactionary conservatives as well as psychopathic killers and occupy activists. so i’m really enjoying writing dad and snake and fairy. i don’t know if the characterizations are coming across, and i’m not sure i’m showing them developing, but i enjoy every bit of personality i can write into them.
i’m thinking, just as a sudden thought, that i should be putting more pictures into the chapters, like the feather in chapter 1. and there are other visual things i need to take care of on the blog. i don’t tend to think about these things because i work all day long on the story, especially now during nanowrimo, when i’m going for wordcount rather than polish. it’s just that when it comes time to put up a chapter, i don’t want to rush anything.
so last night i came to the studio and spent 3 or 4 hours stripping bad html out of my chapter, and – deciding that there were places that needed more explanation than i was willing to give it in an already overtechnical story – spent a bunch of time searching out links. it was very gratifying to shape up the chapter before publishing it, doing the little bit more that represented the best i could give it. of course, in six months it’ll look awkward and trite, but that’s what the second round of editing is all about.
the important point is that i’ve got something i can live with, and now i can move on to a completely different challenge – kurt creates a quantum kernel, something neither i nor anybody else knows anything about. here’s the science fiction part. the place where i take all the research i can understand about something that takes a lot more graduate level math classes than i’ll ever take, and weave it into the most plausible magic box i can make, writing it in effect for the physicists who might happen to read it, hoping not to make them abandon a book that’s more about metaphysics than quantum physics.
the next thing i have to do here is the same thing i do in every chapter. i saved a copy of the posted chapter in my chapter 4 document and put that document into the posted chapter folder, and dragged out chapter 5 from the current work folder. i’ve got it open on the desktop, and it’s 10,580 words on 12 single-spaced pages, and 9 of those pages are research, the other 3 are outline. i’ve already got the research into several categories – kernel, discussion, and tablet, and kurt’s basically the only character in chapter 5, aside from nathan’s family. they’re in every chapter. i hope people like them.
so, back to work now.
update. once i remembered that i have things stored in other documents, i opened up comments and research and went thru them as i go thru them each chapter, and dragged a bunch of relevant stuff over to my chapter 5 document, and retabulated everything, i now have 18 pages, for a total of 16,500 words. i’ll keep track of it this time, promise, and we can watch what happens as a chapter takes shape out of notes and references.