Got a little more than half a chapter done today as I resume work on Blood for Blood. I probably could have finished the chapter (it’s not like I don’t know what’s gonna happen…), but decided to make sure that where I was going with it was where I wanted to go with it – the experience of a trash-canned chapter will do that to you.
Though actually the chapter I had to discard contributed to this “new” Chapter Eleven. I went looking through the unused chapter for a character name that I would mention in passing as I summarized in a couple of paragraphs what I’d written in excruciating detail last time around. And while doing that, I found that there was a nice section in the last third of the “bad” chapter, a scene in Hanritty’s, that wasn’t so horribly pedantic and which actually set up something for later. So I grabbed it.
Of course, that messed up my idea for the opening line of the chapter. “I tossed the wallet on the desk. “Not loansharks, Jimmy.”” That had to get bumped back a thousand words or so.
I tried to keep it. A technique I occasionally use is to start a chapter “in the now”, so to speak, then go back in time for a few paragraphs to summarize stuff I don’t need to show in real time. I like it because it catches the reader’s attention, fills him or her in, then gives them some background and gets back to the story. When I grabbed the 700–800 words from the discarded chapter, I tried sticking it in right after the summary of the boring stuff.
Sadly, that had me open with Charlie’s line to Jimmy Mutz and then go off on a thousand word tangent before the conversation continued. Not good. Confusing.
So the “recap” and scene in Hanritty’s ended up leading off the chapter, and then we pick up with the conversation between Welles and Mutz. I’m sorry. I tried.
But other than that minor disappointment, the writing went well. I’m ready to finish up the chapter tomorrow morning then move into the next one.
It’s good to be writing again.