From telling to showing and beyond

My original outline of chapters was nine in total, I now expect to write eleven at least, perhaps more. The extra breathing space that I was looking for in the process of writing and the clearer vision of the story that I’m telling, I have found in doing the work. More time and focus would be even better but hey, I’m just learning when it comes to writing a book.

Chapter eight is coming into view along with strengthening themes. With the conclusion of the novel coming into sight the story ground that has been covered is marked with the imprints of themes that have emerged in the wake of the protagonist’s movement throughout. Factoring in the themes that over arc the narrative was one of the considerations that I circled over in my mind for years. I wanted to figure out how to do justice to the themes and how to capture these ideas with imagery; when sitting down to write I’d get hung up on an idealised version of the outcome. Working through each chapter in turn, as I have for this first draft, has taken away the frozen moments where I sat awaiting the perfect words that would serve the story on every level from telling to showing and beyond.

The closer I get to the end the more I think about the earlier chapters. I want to revisit them and bring them into line with the story that my novel has become. Even with this though I still don’t have a clear vision of how it will end, or even the lead up to the end. The bones of the story are there but the details will be revealed to me when I write them.

For most of the story the protagonist has travelled into the unknown with little direction and few people met along the way. The last chapters veer from this course driven by a new found certainty that the protagonist has connected with. The journey through the pages has no extra information on the path that should be followed but the experiences from preceding chapters have brought to light things previously hidden as choices available. There is still a way to go but I am coming full circle in my thinking about the narrative and again wanting to make it funny, make it fun, make it real. The story type is the hero’s journey formula which brings together the beginning and end as it circles back on itself; at the beginning I wondered how I could add humour. At the beginning the story was about someone who knew themself and their world, or thought that they did; nearing the end they have begun to recognise themself again. The humour that I want to use is to capture the sense of fun that comes with knowing who you are and laughing because something is funny even when no-one else thinks so.

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