author’s note: chapter 6
Posted by jeanne
boy was it a rough slog. i worked on this chapter for several months, and all sorts of things got in the way. i feel like i’ve been working on it since january, and in fact posted the outline january 29th, so it’s been 4 months on the one chapter.
and it didn’t help that halfway in the middle i discovered that i’m doing it all wrong. i was spending all my time trying to fit the research to the plot, trying to get the very latest research into every paragraph. but this is all wrong because the research keeps going right on, and my timely writing is outdated as i’m writing it.
and not only that, people are used to thinking in science fiction themes, and none of these new discoveries bothers anybody with its newness. people expect time travel, multiple universes, mind over matter. in fantasy and science fiction. and by god that’s what i’m trying to write, so i need to take a lot more for granted, instead of trying to prove all my advances.
i started doing this when it came to chapter 5, when kurt developed the quantum kernel. practically everything about the science behind the quantum kernel escapes me, so i was forced to turn to metaphor, and write a drug-induced fantastic science/art making session headed by two famous cranks who could be expected to say anything. and that kind of worked. better than the boring science stuff, which even my dedicated reader (who suddenly went blind and can no longer serve) couldn’t get thru.
if that’s the only way it’s going to work, then i’ll do that.
this, of course, will require a complete rewrite, but that’s okay, because my chapters are way too long as it is, and once i get used to the act of deleting great swathes of text at once, i’ll feel much more bloodthirsty about it. it’s actually fun, once you get into it, chopping a story to shreds. taking one last look at a nice sentence and then exing it.
and as this gets done i’ll replace the chapters (by changing categories so they show up as dailies rather than chapters). and then i’ll be able to start in on section 2.
however, chapter 7 is the last chapter in the first section, and it should go like the end of a book. i should be writing three books out of these 42 chapters, and so this should be a climax and a resolution, but what actually happens is that they’ve put all this effort into building a videogame, and have succeeded at that, but nobody is getting along, and the game is a crappy, shitty game and nobody is going to want to play it at the beginning of the next section (which is the climax of the first section, in the beginning of the second section. which tells you how much i know about novel construction. another reason to review what i’m doing before it gets too late.).
so basically, i don’t have a chapter 7. i could write it up in a couple of paragraphs and include it with chapter 6. and then move chapter 8 back to chapter 7. chapter 8 is the second dragoncon, where they introduce what they have so far. so maybe i should consider doing that before i put up the outline for chapter 7, which is my next move here on this blog.
anyway, i’m not sure what to do, so i’m going to go look at the next section and see if it warrants disruption at that level (the whole 42-chapter structure is at risk here).
well, i’m not messing with the chapter structure. it’s too complex. i’ve been messing with it unconsciously by moving things that belonged in chapter 6 into chapter 7, because i couldn’t seem to fit them in. so i’d better round them all up and deal with it. i suspect that when i’ve got it all down and am ready for the second draft, then the structure won’t matter as much because i’ll have an existing story to shape, and won’t have to work so theoretically.