Writing in reverse

Chapter five, first draft has had me muddling through and scratching my head so far. This chapter includes events that cause my protagonist to step into the unknown with no direction in mind. Previously the risks that they took were aimed at an outcome but within chapter five things do not work out, direction is lost, and rational thinking gives way to emotion. How this plays out is what I have to decide. When rationality is lost that does not necessarily mean that someone is irrational, when emotions drive a decision that does not mean that the decision is illogical. Tempering reason and emotion into human expression is the tricky part here. The turning of events that this chapter culminates in effects a few of the characters including the protagonist so I have a situation to realise that involves diverse motivations.

I am undecided as yet about how exactly this chapter will read. I’m tempted to capture a ‘what just happened there?’ feel as can happen to any of us when swept up in emotional situations. I’ve been musing on making it a something-for-everyone section where the weight of circumstances is spread evenly amongst the characters so all ‘sides’ can be experienced. Also, I’ve been mixing and matching what I have written over time in the past trying to determine where the strength of the writing lies then to edit the story into being accordingly.

3000 words have been culled so far and the narrative organised from the overlapping writings from the past. There is still just under 13000 in the file that is chapter five, draft one so far meaning that another 8000 plus words need to be dispensed with to make the chapter a manageable 5000 words. Getting rid of sections of writing has taken time as I have shifted them about in the file copying and pasting to see how they read in part in different positions within the story. Some have been repetitive so to select and delete was the obvious answer, others captured a feel very different from the majority of the words that I intend to keep. Click and drag to select then delete, save to update and move on; that’s the rhythm that set in as I have puzzled my way through the bulk of writing coming and going from the work in an effort to keep a fresh perspective. With less words I have a clearer view of what I’m working with, but I still am struggling with the feel and details of the chapter. There’s enough to work with to select a focal point, I have enough to chop and change and skew things to present the story in different ways.

The whittling down of words feels like writing in reverse, to bring it all together I think that I’ll have to get the word count down to 4000 words at most then write new words to solidify the chapter as one piece.

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