Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I think I overestimated

Working on POS today I'm finding I have a number of bridges to build between sections that are already written.  For example, the Civil Rights march of October 5, 1968 that was nearly catastrophic.  I only have notes for that and it's a full chapter unto itself, because I'm tying in not only the march but Eamonn's growing interest in Civil Rights and Brendan's growing ability in fixing things and slyly helping provide for his family so his mother doesn't know (they're building an interesting relationship, Brendan and his Mam).  Plus they're moved out of their ramshackle home to a relatively decent place and a new priest comes to town and on and on.  What'll be fun is keeping it centered around Brendan's experiences; I don't want this to become anything but his life as he lives it, not told so much by someone looking back and now all-knowing...and that may prove difficult.  Already I'm seeing some repetition, and even though things may have happened that way, it makes for poor storytelling.  Comes across as lazy.

I'm using an XL spreadsheet to keep track of everything, breaking the pages into chapters as I go along and making notes to help me remember what happens where.  I've already caught one inconsistency and will probably find more since I wrote all these bits at different times.  And I'll finally be able to see what actions work best where and how many times I've done the same thing over.  But damn, it's slow going.  I'm just through chapter 4 of the first section.

I do not want to break this into separate volumes, like I did with "Bobby Carapisi" (which will wind up being a shorter book than POS, overall).  That was mainly done to satisfy the publisher's page limit (and even then I pushed it on each one).  My hope is to not go over 800 pages...but I can't limit the story, not at this point, so it goes as it goes.

I've caught a moment of dark least, where there can be some.  The first time Brendan's group heads for Grianan Aileach, which I have yet to write, as well.  Man...I got my work cut out for me.

But this is the joy of writing -- discovering new worlds and lives as you follow the path laid down by the sprites and muses who've called for you. 

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