Heavy lifting

I’ve reached Chapter 3, the point where I need to make a major revision and maybe insert a chapter afterward. It doesn’t change much about the story, but I was never fully satisfied about the chain of events that launches the plot.

I also don’t like that it takes until Chapter 3 to get on with it, but you can’t just leap into the action every time. Look at the first chapter of Go Set a Watchman, for example. (Ooh, look at me being topical!) All we’ve gleaned, beyond the reviews that are shocked that Atticus Finch isn’t Plato’s form of Atticus Finch after all, is that Scout is no longer Scout, she lives in New York and there’s a hometown boy she’s sorta in love with.

But, anyway, my problem with Chapter 3 was getting down the reaction to a natural disaster in a rural county with a very strong and corrupt (yet fractured) good ol’ boy network. One of my favorite lines is in the current version, and I’ll either need to find a new home for it or it’ll have to go. I had to kill another great line previously. I’ve already forgotten what it was.

Beyond that, I feel that I need to introduce state police Capt. Elizabeth Quick a lot earlier. Since adding the story that was running in the background of the first draft, I’ve noticed that I need to draw out that it was happening a lot sooner. Additionally, I’m debating changing her name because of the death of a local reserve police Capt. Quick in the general area in which I live. This wouldn’t be the first time I’ve had to change a name. There was a copy editor in the story named Mitch until I worked with a copy editor named Mitch.

The character of Nicole Cobb is awful lot like a person I met years later. I don’t know how to reconcile that beyond either spending the rest of my life after Brown River Blues is published denying that they are the same or making those living and fictional people even more alike. (They even went to the same college! It’s damn freaky.)

There are two character who definitely are blatant swipes at people I know and I’m adjusting them because libel. It was fun to vent when I wrote them, though.

There’s also the problem of Marian, Lorenzo’s ex-girlfriend/fiancée. I’ve been adjusting her story for a while after someone I first wrote about in 1998 turned out to be an analogue of someone I hadn’t met yet. It sometimes makes me wonder if I write about friends before I meet them or I seek people like Lorenzo’s friends.

But, before I get to all of that, I have to tackle Chapter 3.

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