Another month has flown by, and my novel writing journey is becoming more exciting. After finishing the second chapter in my novel, the all-around plot is really beginning to take shape in my mind’s eye. Unfortunately, I tend to get a little ahead of myself so that while I’m trying to write chapter two, I’m mentally playing out scenes from chapter twelve or some other chapter much farther down the plot road. While it’s exciting to have a far-reaching vision that gives me a sense of security (in that I know I won’t write myself into a hole just yet), it can be detrimental to my current writing process. I’d much rather day-dream about action-packed, plot-twisting, or emotional scenes that are a ways down the writing road than actually have to form coherent sentences and storylines at my current place in the novel. At this point—chapter two—I’m really starting to develop readers’ initial views of some of my main characters which is both thrilling and boring. Since I am essentially re-writing many elements from nearly ten years ago, I can see how some of my preferences for characterizations have changed with time.
In this chapter, I introduce my main character, Piper’s, three best friends. In the original version, though I desired for them to be three distinct individuals, they unfortunately functioned as one pining, puppy-dog crush character. This time around though, with some name changes, a heavier focus on witty banter in the dialogue so each has a distinct voice, and a set-up to spend more time with some of them in upcoming chapters, I feel like the Three Musketeers are now very much differing characters with good and bad traits.
It might also be interesting to note that these three characters were at one time based on three people I actually knew, with their names changed, of course. Coming back to write them again though, I found that I now know people with the names I had given two of these characters, and they even have similar personalities and physical traits. It makes me wonder if I’m living in “Stranger than Fiction” or something and have the gift of writing people into being. I certainly hope not because that would create a whole host of people with interesting backstories but nowhere to go in life because I never finished their story. What a miserable existence! Needless to say, I changed their names again and fleshed out their personalities even more so that they’ve become their own distinct characters now and not just shadows of people I’ve known—whether purposeful or accidental.
This all leads me to start chapter three in March which is where I consider all the action and mystery to really begin. I still need to plot out the story path I want to take in this chapter, but I have enough major plot point ideas that I know where to begin and end (something I was lacking when I began both chapters one and two). I also feel like once I’ve completed chapter three I can start lending out the first three chapters to interested friends for feedback. Not editing. I want to write “word vomit” right now and “murder my darlings” later but I have enough supportive friends now asking to read a sample I feel like I should oblige them. So here begins another month of my writing adventure!