Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Friday, October 10, 2014

In preparation for...

I read an interesting article in the October Writer's Digest discussing the first two chapters of Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre. It detailed the hook that gets you into the story, how a characteristic moment reveals what type of person Jane is, the subtle way she described the location, symbolism to bolster Jane's situation and future, what her normal world is like, how neatly backstory was slipped in and how minimal it was, the manner in which she revealed character traits like intelligence and precociousness, the establishment of the dramatic question that will mold the story, action beats used to further the story and character, the lie the character believes that will propel their action forward, and the extraordinary factor. I've never read Jane Eyre; now I want to.

I see a lot of this already established in my opening chapters of The Vanishing of Owen Taylor. Hell, the story's first line sets up the dramatic question -- why does Jake stay with Antony? And it keeps pushing through the rest of the book and winds up being more important than anyone thought it could be, with the final line answering it.

Something it got me to thinking about was, maybe I had so much going on in OT because I didn't want to delve deeply into what that question really meant. Not just to Jake but to Antony. In this story, Tone does things to deliberately drive Jake away. He's got his good reasons for doing it -- everybody has their good reasons, to quote a famous film -- but as it currently stands, the whole issue sort of drifts along once those are revealed until I force it to come back to the fore.

It needs to be the final factor that brings about the resolution, with the answer articulated at the end once Jake accepts the truth of what happened. But as it currently stands, I have a 100 pages of running, jumping and standing still crap after that. Not right...but it was a bloody battle to get me to see it.

I'm finally beginning to think the implosion of OT may have been the blessing that kept me from ruining Jake's story.

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