One chapter in one of my works in progress has bothered me.
It’s a dramatic chapter where a character ends his affair. Every time I’ve read it in context with the rest of the manuscript, it hasn’t made sense. It started with two men thrashing it out realising there was no room for bullshit anymore. They end their affair.
In the next draft they conversed more, still getting heated from time to time in an attempt to have one of the main characters make some self realisations.
But then I added more scenes in which this character makes those realisations.
The chapter was now out of step with the new scenes that came before it, reading like a chapter from an entirely different book.
So I opened a fresh page and rewrote the chapter from scratch.
At the moment I’m worried it’s too tame.
I’m tempted to add some of the dialogue from the last draft to raise the drama, but then I’ll be in danger of having a scene feel out of place again.
And so the to and fro of second guessing myself continues.
This novel is The Midnight Man and I’m on a mission to get it perfect. It’s my obsession.
It’s full of chapters that are wonderful because it’s the sixth draft. Then there are others that are fairly fresh. They haven’t been revamped six times.
One of the revamped scenes involves sex.
There is only one erotic scene in the book and it’s in the first chapter. I don’t like writing sex scenes because I’m not good at them, yet this was my best effort.
It highlighted the main character’s bad relationship, but as it was quite risque, those reading the first pages on Amazon before deciding to buy would get the wrong impression of the novel.
So I watered it down highlighting more directly Stanley’s sadness at what has become his partner’s idea of love making.
Oddly, I’m not as obsessed with my other work in progress.
That one is only up to two drafts and I’m fairly pleased with it. After the next draft I’ll probably submit it.
However, The Midnight Man is my attempt at challenging myself as an author. Of working toward becoming a better writer. And I haven’t been this dedicated since I worked on my first novel.