Sunday Day 14 - 125 minutes. Stayed up much later than I meant to, but I got a lot more done. Too tired to deal with the emotional texture of the sign-off of Chapter 17, though. But it may be less tricky than I thought.
Monday Day 15 - 61 minutes. ...but I enjoyed every minute of what I wrote. Chapter 17 is now whole and satisfying. I was really suffering from sleep deprivation Monday. I got to bed after 3am the night before, and had sinus problems which disrupted my sleep in the morning. I somehow managed to not do any work at all until nearly midnight.
It took a lot longer to get through Chapter 17 than I expected, but I think part of the reason I was struggling before is because I was compressing too far. Taking my time with it, making multiple runs, is working out really well for the tricky emotional texture.
I also found it very helpful to let the characters be wise. It can be fun to let the audience get ahead of the characters -- to let the characters be clueless about themselves. But it's often overdone, sometimes to the point of being automatic. It can get the characters, the audience and the writer in a rut. I find, very often, the solution to being in a rut is to let the characters get you out. Let them be wise and clever and deal with it for themselves. I'm going to talk about this in a lot more detail later.
Tuesday Day 16 - 61 minutes (again). I played around with scenes at random from the end. Knitted together a few things. I realize one other thing that will give me a certain amount of trouble is the last chapter -- "The Detectives sit around and explain it all to each other" scene. I think I've got a good set up so I don't have to explain too much, but maybe it's time to nail that down, so I know what I need to firm up or set up. Christie is a great model for this, and I've read a bunch of Christies lately.
In the meantime....
A conversation between Me, Myself and my Brain for your delight and edification:
Me: I guess I'll just start my routine with a little random proofreading.
Myself (scandalized): No, no, no! You need to get to the scene in Chapter 18. You can't write the follow up scene until you've done that. You need to do that NOW.
Me: Oh, all right. Brain? Can you give me a hand with Chapter 18--
Brain: Eeek! I'm not ready. Avoid! Avoid!
(Brain dives into the closet.)
Me (to Myself): See?
Myself: Brain is just being lazy.
Me: Then you try telling him what to do.
Myself: We're not on speaking terms since the Chapter 14 debacle.
Me: I can lure him out with proof reading.
Myself: But that's such a waste! You're gonna change it so why proof it? How do you even know you're not going to cut that scene?
Me: Oh, Brain? Are we going to cut the scene in Chapter 9?
Brain (sobbing and rocking): ...Not ready, not ready. Nope, not ready, not ready, not ready....
Me: If Brain can't handle that, he's not going to handle anything else. There's no point in writing at all, so we might as well--
Myself: We could do research instead!
Brain (perks up): Research! Did I hear somebody say research!
Me: No, Brain, proofreading!
(Brain comes out of the closet wags tail.)
Me: Good, Brain. Good good, Brain.
Brain: Hey there's a "hte" but it doesn't count because spell check would have got it. Oh, but you left out "can" in that sentence. Score! Oh, look! You wrote "theire" when you meant "they're" -- that's a double score! Typo AND wrong word! (pauses to think) Hey, you think we should cut this scene in Chapter 9? I bet we could make this work without it....
The big issue, though, is that Mr. Brain has been working very hard and is tired and cranky. I often slack off on Wednesday anyway (it's my long day at work), but I think I'm going to schedule it as completely off except for one thing: update the reading copy on the Kindle.
See you in the funny papers.