Chapter 4 Writing Notes

Don’t read these before you read Chapter 4: Oxide – Day 5.


Number of Drafts for Lost Oxide – Day 5

  1. It was always my intent to go back and forth between Kat and Rick and have them tell the side of the tale from their perspective, but when I reread this chapter, Kat sounded exactly like Rick. That makes sense, since I’m writing it and I have a certain way of writing. However, it made no sense as far as the story was concerned. So I put my cursor above the first word and started rewriting and it took the following iterations:
    1. I first tried writing it as if she was doing some sort of video confessional, but that didn’t work for two reason: 1) it was pretty stupid, and 2) secrecy becomes important later in the story and a video confessional would be watched by the Hensie.
    2. Then I went for a journal “dear diary” type story, but after talking it over with my wife, Kat still felt flat. Her motivation wasn’t there. There was no heart (I’ll talk more about the heart in a bit). My wife and I started talking about what Kat was like and hit on the fact, alluded to by Rick, that they were partners. They more than any other two people understood each other.
    3. That lead to full rewrite #3 in the letter format. If Kat were in this situation, she would want to talk it out with Rick (just as my wife would want to call me after such a terrible thing). The letter just worked. It gave me the freedom to let Kat explore her deepest (and sometimes) darkest thoughts while also allowing the reader to feel her love for Rick. At least, that’s what I hope.
  2. I had another great discussion about Sol with another colleague from work. He remarked that he wasn’t sure who Rick was yet and if he should like him. I understood immediately what he was talking about. The first three chapters of Sol, Rick feels pretty distant. I think that makes some sense given what just happened to Earth and the tale he’s trying to tell. I have already planned on changing that trajectory and making Rick more whole as a human when he starts telling his tale again. But that is not a note that I take lightly.
  3. One of the very, very excellent notes, my very, very excellent wife gave me on Kat’s original chapter was that it felt too much like a rehash and was way too dark (read: tedious). It was true, Kat’s chapter picked up right where she looked up into the sky and followed her in the Hensie ship. It was horrifying to both write and read. I took a lot of that out because it didn’t push the story forward the way I really wanted and it was starting to feel a little too melodramatic (even though the whole thing is pretty melodramatic).