Here be my confession:
This week I have been addressing the sponginess of Chapter Six and trying to give it some backbone. I realised that I have been inadvertently giving the character to whom this chapter belongs watered-down reactions. She was being fuzzy, not true to herself, and far too reasonable. So I spent a bit of time writing about her in my notebook. I find that writing with pen and paper helps me to be more intuitive and free. Writing on the computer is good for shaping and arranging, but most of my best creative ideas come with pen in hand. (A chai latte helps too.) I wrote in the first person, trying to find the lies that she tells herself. That helped me rescue the first two-thirds of the chapter, but I am going to have to do it again in order to raise the level of crisis in the last third.
Why do I want my characters to be likeable? Two of my three main characters have been deliberately chosen because they are struggling with ego, and that means that they can be selfish, thoughtless, cruel and hurt people around them. This character is being too damn nice. I need to free-write again tonight, find the hooks and barbs in her personality, her limitations and boundaries. I also need to flesh out one of the secondary characters, who is being a bit bland. His nuances need to shine.
Next week, I leave for my six-day writing retreat in Berlin. It is now booked into the family calendar, and my unofficial writing cheerleader, my husband, has signed on for duty. He will have secondary back-up in the form of Grand-dad. I hope the five of them will have fun while I am gone.
The current word count stands at 40,601 and I plan to be able to tell you in two weeks time, when I confess again, that that number has increased significantly. I’m hoping that six days dedicated to writing, with no Internet access, will mean great chunks of writing.
Good luck with your writing, Friday ‘Fessors, and other writers out there. I hope the next two weeks bring you inspiration, energy and above all, time to write.