At least, on paper. I haven’t taken it back to the behemoth document yet.
I have been wrestling with a number of story-lumps while I fold laundry and chop food.
Not including the one I imagine all self-conscious novelists wrestle with— that effort to not-create the typical (Oates says inevitable) autobiographical 1st novel.
The main puzzle right now has been how to slow the character arc/growth of my main character.
That is, a great deal is demanded of her early in the novel, and (I think…) she can’t be too strong too quickly, or the continued battles don’t/won’t be significant or even necessary.
I was thankful today to come up with some “immaturity markers” that I can weave into both of her early battles.
Now I need to decide how much of my first scene I can let go. In it Linnea is forced to act utterly out of character, but since it’s the first scene there’s no way to know it’s out of character (aside from the leprous telling).
I probably mention it because I’m convinsing myself it needs to go, for the good of the story, and I “grieve” its loss.
Just its being the first chapter for so long means I’ve spent the most time with it and it’s the most polished. Letting it go means sacrificing part of my ego, along with my time. I feel it’s a very well-written chunk.
But I’m more relieved at seeing a clean fix, so I’ll probably adjust pretty quickly.