As I’ve blogged about several times, getting Chapter 9 for my work in progress (Under the Darkened Moon) ready for the manuscript has been a real struggle. The problem is that the chapter is one of those necessary bridges to get Kyel, the story’s main character, from point A to point B. Point A is Chapter 8. Point B is Chapter 10.
Alas, the scene has been really fighting me.
See, the problem is, Chapter 9 is important. Things happen and are revealed that lay the groundwork for things to happen in the next couple of chapters. I just couldn’t remove it, even though, at times, I wanted to. Trust me. There were times I wanted to take a copy of it to the firing range and fill it through with lead to make a physical statement about my intense dislike for what I was going through.
But, after several rewrites, things are much better now. I have cut nearly 1,000 words from the chapter, making it flow quicker and more smoothly. The result allows the reader to get through the “bridge” as quickly as possible without dwelling on minutia. Things are better now, but I am still not 100% happy with it. However, I have opted to take my own advice on the matter.
Funny how just rereading my own, old blog posts can put things into perspective! Perhaps I should do it more often.
My best advice to myself on the troubles I was having with Chapter 9 came in the form a posting titled “Even With Imperfect, Even Stupid, Scenes A Story Can Still Be Good“. In it, I talked about the movie Star Wars. Specifically, I mused about the silly monster George Lucas threw into the garbage compactor scene after Han, Luke, Leia, and Chewy escape from the prison level on the Death Star.
That creature was silly. It was unnecessary. It made the scene seem almost comical. And why was there water in the garbage compactor anyway? The whole encounter makes so little sense when you think about it. It probably should have been cut and the story gone right to the near squishing of our heroes.
But you know what? Even with that scene, and several others that boggle the mind, Star Wars is still one of the greatest movies ever made.
So maybe I’m not 100% happy with Chapter 9. So what. It’s good. It serves its purpose. I’m moving on!