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February 26, 2013
Posted at 10:31 am
 

Falling Flat

I have a problem. It's not an insurmountable problem, but it's a problem nevertheless. The problem is this, I've written a section of text that doesn't feel, to me, as if it's good enough.

There, I said, I've written something I don't like.

This is what happened. Chapter 15 was pretty explosive. The first half of chapter 16 carried this over and was full of anger and frustration and was (is) quite dramatic.

But…

After that, the rest of chapter 16 just kind of feels… flat. Know what I mean?

I suppose it was inevitable that after such emotion driven narrative, what follows as I try and get the characters back to the locations they should be, was always going to be difficult and always feel… flat.

But, isn't that kind of the point? You can't have high drama all the time, can you? Surely the second half of chapter 16 should be about keeping the tension there but giving the characters (and the reader) a chance to breath and take in what just happened? This isn't a thriller, I'm writing, I'm not trying to be super-paced Dan Brown or whatever. The reader needs time to reflect, doesn't he? This is supposed to be a low point for Paul, so shouldn't it be… well, low?

I guess my problem is that he ran. Ran away. And now I need him to go back where he came from and face the music, but he doesn't have a compelling reason to do so. SO I need to give him one, and there, I think, is the nub of the problem and what I'm not very happy with. I don't want to spend three thousand words having Paul wander around the country aimlessly. That would be, well, boring, and kill all the momentum I built up in chapter 15 and the first half of seventeen.

Still, this may be a problem now, but I'll carry on writing past this point. After all, solving problems like this is what the editing process is for. Isn't it?