Third Chapter Blues

So the second chapter has been online for two weeks now. I always expected diminishing returns and that’s cool. I’m here to be truthful and honest, and so whilst my first chapter had 150 views for the month, so far for the second chapter it’s been around 50, which is still incredible when you think about it. It reminds me I should do a quick re-post!

The other reality is writing this dreaded third chapter, Haha. I’ve almost literally written over two chapters worth already and ditched half of it, well not ditched per se.

I began writing what I thought was next, which was an origin “bit” for the lead character Jean, but on finishing that and releasing the second chapter, it felt too soon to go into Jean’s birth – that it was taking the reader away from what they wanted to know next, so that (2100 words) was put aside.

I began writing what was literally next in the narrative which is what happened to Sirrius, and I got around 1,000 words into that and felt I needed more time to feel what happens. So then I realised I needed very specific things in this third chapter, being:

  1. I need to develop the main narrative of the Sirrius
  2. I need to follow Leonid (the guy who is talking about his wife’s story) as he was briefly introduced last chapter and cannot be abandoned.
  3. SPOILER ALERT – I need to establish that we are not done with Deene yet. I need to establish the plot device of telling his story in reverse from other’s perspectives.

So I began writing Leonid’s next bit and developed his actual narrative rather than his idea of what happened to his wife, and again I wrote another 1,300 words and realised it was too soon to leave his wife’s narrative (it hadn’t been bedded enough yet) and his story of going into town wasn’t “earned” it needed to be later, so I set that aside too.

Then I began writing the Deene bit of what happened to him before the Red Square as witnessed by a small family in Rural Russia, a Bed and Breakfast who put him up in a way, and that flowed out of my quite quickly and bam 1,600 words down. I think great!

Then I go back to my chapter and develop the Sirrius narrative, and as per my plan I also write the next bit in Leonid’s wife’s journey and that flows out of me too, another 2,000 words or so, and all of a sudden my third chapter was hitting 6,500 words and I still hadn’t concluded what I wanted to do of the Sirrius narrative. So I set aside Deene’s backstory, figuring it would be better to leave the reader wondering if you would hear from him again, leave the reader to assume it was done, so out that went and I’m back to 5,000 words which is still too much.

So I edit and edit down again and work on finishing the Sirrius narrative and as of this morning I think I can say I’m almost done with Chapter 3. It’s longer than Chapter 2 so far (6,000 words) but it feels ok. I’ll now get my girlfriend to read it and we’ll work out if there are boring bits and it might get cut down to just under 6,000 but it feels good.

And it’s also awesome to know I’ve almost got most of Chapter 4 in the bag, meaning I’m back on schedule! Yay!

Now to do some actual work and make more preparations to move house, eek!

Here is my current view which I’ve been looking at whilst writing lately: one of my uncle’s paintings!:

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