Chapter seven is 4000 plus words done of the 5000 words I’ve planned to write, so the finish line is in sight. This chapter has always been a rough sketch in my mind that lacked the narrative articulation of some previous parts that I’ve worked through. Up until this chapter the protagonist has been experiencing gradual growth and development within themselves, and has been unaware of the fundamental change that this causes within them. Chapter seven is the character becoming aware of the change that is happening and recognising that they can make choices to participate in this change. I’m trying to capture the realisation that I expect everyone goes through at some point when they understand that something big is happening within them that they can’t explain or reference but only observe as a point of change.
I have found this difficult to write; when I tried to push through by writing more and more I became frustrated so I stepped back from the keyboard and took a lot of long walks where time and space allowed me to think through what the actual point of this chapter is. This chapter has caused me to stop and take stock of where I’m at and where I’m heading story-wise. The long walks have served their purpose by providing perspective. I walk and observe the world around me, myself within it, nature, the ‘vibe’ and step back from my thoughts to make room for what is beyond thought. I’ve managed to get out of my head by literally walking away from overthinking. This has facilitated descriptive writing that I have used to ‘set the scene’, provided real-time perspectives on people to consider when writing character, and been helpful for processing the world through new eyes which I require of my protagonist to demonstrate transformation.
The protagonist has reached a point in the story where other people’s influence has fallen away as it never had before, leaving space in their mind beyond reacting and responding. They are able to be alone with themselves without being inundated by thoughts that are triggers instigated by others, to be alone with themselves, to connect with their potential and realise that they can exist without outside influence. I have come to understand that this chapter is not about testing boundaries as previous chapters have been in different ways, but about discovering boundaries set by and for the self.
I keep pushing to the front of my mind that I am writing the first draft so can refine, refine, improve and polish when the time comes, but I really want to lay a solid foundation for profound yet potentially elusive personal evolution of character in a realistic way. It’s part of the human experience, we all have our aha moments, many that happen without us identifying them until later in life. It can be a little voice, a shift in our way of being, ‘growing-up’, or a change that comes about because some old structure falls away leaving room for a self deep within who’d had no space for growth. Either way, in the present moment or in reflection we observe ourselves and that is what I’m attempting to write without it being a big moment that feels forced.