The Early Chapters

I’ve struggled recently with my manuscript (you can read an excerpt here) and connecting the first chapter to the next.

Do I spend some paragraphs on exposition?

How do you cover a significant amount of physical distance where nothing interesting happens? And do it without it feeling trivial or boring?

I’ve tried to answer these questions by writing and not thinking about it. But this has resulted in four different versions that I don’t like. That I keep throwing out. Maybe the process is honing on what I really want, but it seems like a blind dive.

I still enjoy writing the scenes. But eventually, it feels like I’m not making progress. This isn’t true, but it still feels that way. I think I’m drawing conclusions on what is working, but it’s slow and requires a lot of analysis not only of the text but also my own expectations.

My expectation and typical style is to avoid too much exposition. But in the fantasy genre and writing about new cultures or environments, readers usually need that to feel a part of the story and give them some ownership of understanding.

So balancing my style with what the reader needs is taking a lot of time.

What is so hard to keep in mind is what my friend Erin says best, “No writer consistently produces good stuff from their daily grind. So stick to the routine.”

True.

Trust the process.

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