Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Weight of Glaciers

Though I had good intentions of finishing Chapter 4 before I had to go back to work at my day job today, it didn't get done. I severely underestimated how time consuming family togetherness can be. There was, of course, a minor family crisis, lots of drama, and lots and lots of cooking, which I don't do often and had forgotten takes hours upon hours to do properly. So Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were non-productive for writing or even thinking about Project Reach. The subsequent days would be wholly set aside for writing, or so I thought. In reality, I had saved the latest draft of Chapter 4 to my trusty thumb drive...and left it in the port at my work computer! I couldn't get any momentum with the chapter since I was missing a rather crucial transition that I'd written during some downtime at work last Tuesday, so I just left it be and focused on some other pressing tasks

On three of my five days off, I slept very late into the day. There was, of course, the aforementioned family togetherness. I attended an Ugly Christmas Sweater party and spent the day after recovering from it. I began refinishing my living room floors so I can install my wall of bookshelves and finally remedy my critical lack of book storage. I did laundry and put away my summer clothes at long last. I painted my toenails and gave myself a manicure. These are all things that were overdue. Things I had put off in deference to Project Reach. And now that they're done, or on their way to being so, I can make another push at Claire's narrative.

I'm more than a little concerned with the pacing at this point. But there's little point in fretting about it now, as I won't even be able to evaluate the pacing properly until I have at least six chapters strung together. At least I have a better feel now for my own writing pace now and can adjust my expectations for progress accordingly. My pace is truly glacial! But I'm at peace with that metaphor. Glaciers may be slow, but they are an irresistible force and possess fierce beauty.

Also, not all of the verdicts are in, but now that we're two chapters in with David, none of my readers can abide his tone. It's distracting. I knew this was a danger when I began to conceive of David's style of internal dialog. But I'm still waiting on the verdicts of a few other of my trusted readers before I make any determinations as to amending David's tone. I knew that first person narrative was a bit of a gamble, and that present tense risked coming off too 'literary' but I honestly believe that the most crucial bits of the story can only be told properly using the technique of altering first person narrative in the present tense. And one of my readers may have been a bit confused by the switch from past-tense to present between David's chapters. Her comments suggest she read David's present tense chapter as a continuation of his character narration and not as his present reality.

Reach Reader commentary on Chapter 3:
I am once again assaulted by words, that seems to be the beating I will always get from David...He seems more arrogant now, but he also just seems to have no filter when he speaks about himself. He's just saying the truth, as he sees it, that he really does know a lot.
So many weighty considerations. I am not above performing a complete re-write if my approach to the story is completely untenable. However, I still have faith enough to rely on my skill to uphold my creative decisions.

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