A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO WRITING A CHAPTER: PART 1
Posted on January 2, 2014
The writing process is such an excited beast. I tend to write with only an inkling of where my plot is going, relying on the natural outpouring of events and character moments to drive the story forward. All I knew for Book 2 of Irving was that Roon and Irving would be mounting a rescue to the Revision ravine to bring back the vampire detective's brother.
Two chapters in, some unique developments have occurred. I needed to employ some recap and did so with the awareness that less is more. Here's an example:
"Roon, could you slow down? Not all of us want to be pelted by thorns and springy branches."
My companion stopped and turned slowly around. Her pale complexion along with her exposed fangs reminding me that I was tagging along with a freshly minted vampire. Roon along with her brother had been the first to greet me upon my arrival at the Questing Academy. Then, they had been zombies. Their author had scrapped that monstrous lineage and rebranded them as another type of undead. In the switch, Roon's brother had been cut from her narrative. He had been revised out of her life. No longer an actual character in a story, he had been banished from the school, being sent to where we were now heading: Revision Ravine.
"Sorry. I just really wanted to make good time." I noticed my labored breathing. Roon was hardly winded at all. I wondered if she even needed her lungs. "Maybe a little breather." I fetched a water bottle from my pack and took two swigs. Offering it to her, I hunched over and sucked in two quick breaths.
I had Roon and Irving encounter two characters along a river, a warrior and his battleaxe. Our hero and his vampire companion confront the couple, and a couple they are. The warrior, Gnarl, is married to Lady Edith, his wife who is imprisoned in her husband's weapon. Yep, you assumed right. There's a curse at work here. Anyway, I planned on them simply being a foil, an argument for turning back, but then they quickly evolved into more than just one-off characters. I soon realized they would be accompanying Irving and Roon on their quest. But it wouldn't be willingly. Because of something Gnarl has done to the river, the lively couple feel compelled to help Irving and Roon despite disagreeing with their mission. I had no idea these two would exert such a hold on the plot, but by letting my characters influence the story, the events fall into place with a air of naturalness and realism.
I am eager to report on more of these storytelling turning points in future post because I know there will be many more.