Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Research and Work on 5

Chapter 5 is coming along. I'm very excited about getting this next tandem completed, as 6 chapters is a bit of a milestone in my outline. After 6, things will really begin happening. And I'll be very relieved not to have any more setup to mull over. I think stretching the introductions out over several chapters was a good way to avoid a large backstory dump, and it allowed me to ease everyone into my peculiar style, but there are risks adherent to this decision. More on that later.

Tonight, I'm doing some research on working memory, attention buffers, dual task performance processing bottlenecks in the frontal lobe, that sort of thing. All for one of David's little science asides. I like beginning a chapter while he's in mid-thought, breaking in on his hefty ruminations, and then moving on with the action from there while he works through his little internal dilemmas. In this chapter, some pretty important things are happening right in front of him while he's completely taken up with his own thoughts on his mother's gift. I have the bones of the chapter laid out, but need to fill in the color or else I'll just be moving David from place to place like a chess piece so that he can observe things that need to be observed. I'm waiting for him to make the events his own by adding in his unique non-observations. It's happening, but it will take some solid hours of writing time to work out the kinks. For one thing, I have a conversation between Kathryn and David already written, but it's rather long, and I never know how much of it will be completely unnecessary by the time I get to the end of the chapter, where the conversation will take place.

I think I've finally settled on a name for Decker. I wanted something old-fashioned and lame that MarLo could make fun of. I had originally chosen Lawrence as a nod to one of my favorite films, Girl in the Cafe, but I decided Clarence is just as suiting and will honor my deceased grandfather. His full name is now Clarence Gershom Emmanuel Decker. All of his mail comes to C.G.E Decker. Claire doesn't know his given name(s). MarLo does because she weedled it out of him. Gershom is an Old Testament name meaning "exile" or "a stranger there," and Emmanuel also comes from the Old Testament and means "God is with us." Gershom is particularly telling of his character as Decker regarded himself rather displaced in academia until he discovered his passion for baking. Actually, Decker's character is slightly reminiscent of the law student-turned-baker in Stranger than Fiction. He's much more laconic and non-confrontational, though. But he still has a bit of Ana Pascal's hippy sensibility.

I may make one of my characters a diabetic. Perhaps Claire's younger sister. That will add a little drama.

For tonight, though, I'm about done for. I'll try to make sense of my research notes on my lunch break and continue the long process of stitching the chapter together out of the many scraps and loose threads I have laid out so far.

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