Posted by: Natalie | January 26, 2011

A Means of Escape

I haven’t written about my own work for a while now – there has been a reason, in fact many of them, but its nice in know that with a revived spirit, most have lessened if not dwindled away entirely. However, on reviewing my pages since the last breaking point, I realised there is one bump in the road that cannot be fixed with rest and tea – only good writing.

I have read many an interesting writer’s article about hero escapes, how they should (or more likely shouldn’t) be written and what potential snags to look out for. But nothing seems to be helping this particular stopping point. My story has two very obvious parts to it, the second following on from a (trying to be) spectacular escape from an ancient abbey. Both parts of the narrative on either side of this turning point feel easier to write and much more fluid. I just can’t seem to get the same feel to the ending of this particular chapter.

I know the situation upside down and back to front. I know how my hero escapes and why this method is important to the book as a whole. I know what the protagonist is ‘dealing with’ at this precise moment, but I am not sure this aspect is portrayed clearly enough to the reader. I am also at a loss as to what to do with my secondary hero. His real importance doesn’t become clear until much later and I feel like this moment looses him. He just seems to be a tag-along. I have tried writing the section from his point of view, I have tried it from my hero’s point of view – I have attempted it in all various manners and means but it just doesn’t flow, which is ironic as the classic-adventure-means-of-escape, the water shoot, is a pinnacle moment here. It feels clunky and thick, I just can’t get my head around it.

Other than move on again to a section I am much happier with, or cut huge sections leaving some aspects unclear, I don’t really have any other clues as to what I can do. And I don’t particularly want to look for another way out. I guess the old saying is key, if at first and all that.

Perhaps there is too much detail, perhaps the cutting option is realistic. I am not adverse to leaving tails hanging where necessary, a little extra intrigue could work here but it would miss out on some of the fun needed to bring the battered boys temporarily out of darkness. And there’s some heavy duty tantrums around the corner so I also don’t want to dwell too much longer on the brooding nature of the first part of the book.

Unless . . . I cut the section causing me pain and adapt the beginning of the next chapter to add lightness there. But would that work? Is there room to squeeze such a thing as the ball begins rolling again? Hmmmmmm. No, I think it has to stay where it is. For now. Just while I make another cup of tea and mull it over some more.



  1. My suggestion is to leave it as is, and move on to the next chapter or section.
    You can then come back to it and read the chapter before it, the current chapter and the next one
    and decide what to do with fresh eyes and and fresh perspective.
    My two cents added.

    I offer this advice because it is the same advice offered to me time and time again.. i have the same issues that you are currently experiencing, all the time.

    Good luck and happy writing.

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