I’ve done it! I’ve finally done it! Chapter 13 is complete!!!!!!!
It took an arm and a leg and literally years off my life… Ok that’s an exaggeration but it has taken the whole of March to get to this point and most of my Easter weekend to get it finished.
It ended up being an amalgamation of the two versions I had written. Alby remained Alby but I made him a little more erratic. I managed to slip in some of the lovely dialogue that Albert had said without it jarring with the speech that was already there. It has turned Alby into a slightly more unstable version of himself, but that’s what he was always intended to be.
I like how one minute he comes across as a relaxed, chilled out, almost high hippy who’s take on life is to just take it how it comes, and the next he flips into an uptight, frantic, almost deranged man who likes everything in its particular place.
These characteristics don’t often go together, but here they seem to work…
In order to get him to be credible he had to become the hippy, but in order to plant the seeds of plot for this and future books he had to be unhinged. This is a unique balance of the two. I hope.
I love Crystal’s reaction to Alby. She somehow manages to understand him in a way that Leo and Elsie just cannot. She sees Leo’s concern and deliberately pushes it and him to one side. She is so determined to get the information from Alby that she almost becomes reckless. She doesn’t quite cross that line, but it does feel like she gets close. Exchanges between her and Leo in this chapter are mostly silent; looks and glances and head shakes. And I love that. He tries to get her to step back because they don’t know this man. They don’t know if he is to be trusted or even if he’s dangerous. Elsie thinks he scary. She tries to keep up her glib and sarcastic nature for as long as she can, but eventually cannot hold it back. When Crystal sees how scared Elsie has become, she realises its time to pull back.
There is a point in the chapter where Crystal, Elsie and Leo are lead to a back room or sorts where Alby has promised to “show them something really cool”. This is where Alby turns. He is no longer that high-on-life hippy, or even that jumpy obsessive; he becomes something different. Something scary.
Here, Alby threatens them and is adamant that they have come to test him. He believes they have been sent by the Collector…
It’s been a difficult chapter to say the least. I’m looking forward to reading it again this afternoon after my night away from it. And I hope it reads well.
When I go back for a read after some space from writing a chapter, I always read it out loud. It is the only way to get a feel for it, to understand your characters and make sure what they say is innately them. Remember if it doesn’t sound like them, make it.
It’s also a great time to get a feel for sentence structure. A reader has to understand the sentence structure first time, so make sure they aren’t too fragmented or overly complex. Saying them out loud is such a good tool.
So that’s where I am. It’s now April and I’ve finished chapter 13. I haven’t quite kept up my 2 chapters a month plan, but at least I’ve written 5 chapters this year. 3 months in and I’m still happy with my progress. Yay!