CURRENT GOAL: COMPLETE CHAPTER 10. STATUS: MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!
TARGET WORD COUNT: 100,000. ACTUAL WORD COUNT: 104,616. STATUS: ON TARGET!
NEXT GOAL: COMPLETE CHAPTER 11. DEADLINE: SUNDAY, MAY 14, 2006
[Note: CURRENT PROGRESS Updated Weekly, Usually on Sundays!]
My last posting provides more detail into the challenges of Chapter 10. I did keep at it and finish it Sunday night. Parts of it feel right, seem good, on track, but the last big scene fell flat. There is too much talking, not enough action, but that is the nature of the scene -- people coming together to discuss, to ask questions, seek answers, come to decisions. However, I want to look for ways to add more conflict. One idea I've had this morning is to introduce some rivalry between the many minor characters (minor in number of pages devoted to them out of the novel, but important in terms of the world of the story). There are ways to have the characters posture, and raise the stakes for them. I think I will know more after I have written the next chapter, since this scene did not end but will continue at the start of the next chapter. I ended this chapter with a turning point in the debate, a point at which things aren't going so well for the main character, and the heir to his worst enemy has now taken a stance against him, suggesting significant conflict to come (it will come in the next chapter). I think the experience of writing the last scene was more about my seeking to undertsand it than really writing it, so this scene will have to be rewritten later, but that's okay. Most of the chapter worked just fine, and the scene right before this last one turned out to have a major new twist in it when one of the characters brought in a whole new level of drama in his plight. So, things happen. I'll find a way for more things to happen in this last scene when I do the editing.
Chapter 11, the next one, will contain the big confrontation and the climax. I'm still considering options on which version of the climax to use. I have a few. I will consider what would be more gratifying to the reader as I make my decision. I am actually more excited about writing Chapter 12, not just because it'll be the last chapter, but because I like the falling action, a chance to bring things home for the main character. Lots of emotionally touching, meaningful stuff, tying up loose plot threads, and achieving closure.
After I finish the last two chapters, within the next two weeks, I'll take a break for a couple of weeks and work on something else, either planning or writing another novel (I have plenty of ideas, and a list of novels I'm eager to write!). When I come back to THE REFLECTING STONE after a short break, I'll print it out for the first time. I'm looking forward to editing the work as a whole since I enjoy editing and this will be the first time that I get to edit an entire work at one time. I've been trying for years to finish a novel, and this one apparently will be it!