In what has been an absolutely epic day, I set a crazy goal of 7,000 words + completion of Act I, meaning we would be through the dilemma and into the fun and games section of Act II.
You guys are already familiar with this structure, so I won’t say more. If you’re a new patron and you feel miffed because you have NFI and I haven’t explained it, just leave a comment and I’ll happy help you get up to speed.
Today I have a chunk from the catalyst section of Act I for you in the audio. Go to the original post at Patreon to hear it! It’s not a huge chunk – it’s not even a full sequence – but it gets you a little bit more into the picture of what’s going on.
I’ve gotten myself into a situation where I have the protagonist and the antagonist and that both are telling the story, sort of. This wasn’t intentional, but now it kind of is. I go into that a bit in the audio for today, and a bit more down below.
I find that transitioning between scenes is something over which I agonise. Seriously, seriously agonise. Going from State A to State B always feels like an enormous jump and I’m unwilling to just leave everything as small chunks, which is my natural state. Small chunks are natural for me and writing seamless, longform prose is not, which is why going from an action, a moment or a thought and into the next action, moment or thought, always makes me go ARGH. I worry that the moments are not credible, or unbelievable, that they’re too sudden, too choppy, that they are highly visible plot devices (which in some cases, they totally are). And I am also a writer with high standards, so it might just be my geas and I could just be listening to my own ghosts. The entire point of the creative leave days is to stretch myself through these difficult moments, to find a way to transition through them more effectively, and do it consistently, so that it stops becoming a problem.
The two faces of the narrative is something that builds a fabric, and there is something about writing an interwoven narrative that I am completely in love with right now. I’ve found myself writing the story from two dominant perspectives, which is not something that I expected. One is from inside the head of the protagonist, and one is from the perspective of the antagonist.
Somehow, I’m not sure if it’s been intentional, I’ve brought the reader into the darkness of the story with me. Doing so allows me to keep the protagonist in the light, as it were, to keep her on the site of ignorance, but without losing any of the richness of the dark undertones of the narrative. If I didn’t play the story like this, what I’d end up doing is having a one-sided, singular perspective story which, while valuable, would require some much fancier footwork in terms of revealing aspects of what’s going on. You could argue that this would require more of a stretch and that it would therefore be more valuable, but if you did, I’d say up yours. Right now anyway hahaha
Anyway! In this way, I can play the two sides of the story against each other. It’s a process of educating the reader about the story so that they can start being a cheerleader for the protagonist in a really intense and meaningful way. I am imagining right now that towards the end of the story, the reader will know the intentions of the antagonist in its most complete sense, and will be hoping – praying – that the protagonist beats him. She doesn’t know what he’s turned into, or what he’s willing to do. To her, he’s the same guy he’s always been. And while right now I don’t know the story about him – about whether he’s always been a two-faced cunt, or whether something in his experiences in Europe made him that way – it makes writing him much more fun, because he’s dark, conniving, persuasive, and somehow entrancingly horrible. I’m not sure what that says about me, actually. But the darkness is something completely seductive for me as a woman and an artist, and it probably explains my last relationship. Ha!
Now, go and listen to the chunk of the catalyst. It’s actually cut short a bit but I’ll give you guys a sample of the two sides of the story next week. By then, we’ll off into the deep with the fun and the games, and having a bloody fun time while we’re at it.
Word count so far: 19,668.