An emotional crunch

As I finished, or thought I was finishing, Chapter 5 of Biome NE47: Prequel, I looked back over the 50k words laid down so far, and thought, this is all very pedantic, a set of semi-intriguing strands to pull together, but . . . .

. . . Where’s the drama? Or, rather, where’s the emotional intrigue, that sense of something compelling that captures the reader’s heart strings. It’s all very well to be diligent in one’s writerly pursuit of the ‘hacking through’ as Margaret Atwood calls it, but without that frisson of excitement, it just feels dry, uncompelling.

So I put the challenge to my sleeping self, and between the interval of wakefulness and sleep, and again in the morning as the full impact of the crunch hit me, I embarked on the last scene of Chapter 5. Man, shivers sometimes come with succinctness and brevity.

So, I’m delighted to have served up this chapter, right on schedule, and now I can move on to continue planning for the last two chapters of the Prequel. More exciting than the planning is the listening: what are the characters actually going to do?

I suspect, when I’ve got the bare bones of the Prequel finished, when the story is resolved, in other words, I shall have to go back and flesh the characters out more, give them a life more tangible, and also attempt some pastoral descriptions of landscape, village buildings, amenities. That’s all very well, and doesn’t just now detract from the serialisation of the actual story, I hope.

The flesh will come, but not if the bones are weak!

By Larry Winger

Retired scientist, devoted diarist (, community-minded aspirant novelist, I've lived on a smallholding in the East Allen Valley for the past 30 years, delighting in watching our family grow up, in experiencing the development of our grandsons, and in taking care of our small flock of chickens and garden.

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