During first fours weeks of my vacation I only added a couple of pages to Chapter 8 as I settled into the beautiful surroundings of my Spanish mountain retreat. As I said previously, I intended to get down to some serious work on “Throne of Ice” when I returned and so I spent my time relaxing (the sangria was truly fine!) or wandering along forgotten goat trails.
Upon my return to Korea I immediately got stuck into Chapter 8 and had it finished in a full day and a morning. I was very pleased with the way it eventually turned out and I have to say that the weather at time really helped me out in creating the mood (heavy rains here can often seem like an eternity… unless you happen to be British of course!) as this chapter is a very bleak one in many ways. At present it is loosely entitled, “The Tree”.
Before I write a chapter I always make a brief synopsis of the main points that I want it to take. Whether or not other writers do the same thing I do not know, however, I find that it keeps me focused on that part of the story that I want to write. This can be especially helpful when leading up to a chapter that I am very excited to write as I find that it is often easy to overlap certain points when writing ‘freely’. In saying that, there are times when I will write without a ‘sketch’ of the chapter and just let my mind take me wherever. It all depends how I feel about that point in the story and whether or not I feel certain points need to be mad or developed further.
Anyway, later that afternoon, I started working over a few details that I wanted to include in Chapter 9 and then got straight to work on it. My outline was good and I knew how I wanted it to go, however, dialogue always takes longer than you first expect! Writing dialogue is great but to make it colourful so that you become one of the characters taking part in the conversation takes time and thought. Overall, it took me much longer to get through Chapter 9 than I had planned although the outcome was pleasing. Its working title is, “The Journey West”, although it will likely change as it doesn’t quite fit what I have in mind.
After a break of a day or so in order to meet up with a friend that had come over from Hong Kong for a brief visit, I got back to my writing and straight into the tenth chapter. This one carries on from the previous chapter and is currently entitled, “The Priest”. This was a chapter that I have long had in my mind and so I only made a few brief notes before tackling it. It went well although as I neared the end I ran into a few mental blocks which slowed me down considerably. I am happy with the eventual outcome, however, I may return to it when the book is complete just to have one more look. I was writing, on and off, for much of the day and eventually finished it at around half past four in the morning! However, the thrill of getting it ‘sewn up’ meant that my sleep was a peaceful one.
I now find myself sitting back and thinking upon all that I have written before getting on with Chapter 11. As I originally stated, I had decided to add a more in-depth start to the story before weaving it into the rest of the work that I have already completed. This is that point. It is almost as if I can see the ‘top of the mountain’ that I started climbing some four or five years ago…
When Chapter 11 is completed then there will only be Chapters 12 and 13 to write, which will also be amalgamated with some previously written material, at which point my workload decreases considerably. I can then turn my attention to reworking a few of the chapters at the end of the story, some of which will have to be written from scratch and others that just need touching up. Then it will be the final task of completing the edits on those chapters I had long ago finished writing before putting it altogether for a final check. Yes, it sounds like a lot still to do, and it is, but at the same time I know that I have come a great deal further. If only I didn’t have to get on the subway for work tomorrow morning…