Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chapter One of the Novel in Progress (aka The New Nipper)

I have given myself nine days, including today, to rewrite 23 chapters, an epilogue and a prologue. Actually, I like the prologue... but I'm just not sure I need it. Or that maybe I only need it 'cos the start of Chapter One is weak? In which case, it needs more than a rewrite, it needs a re-think. Maybe I need to start later, keep something back, add a bomb disposal squad or and earthquake... (I'm thinking back now to Sam Goldwyn's advice, "Start with an earthquake and build up to a climax".)

But then I have to be careful what I do. Too much action and it wouldn't be the story of a girl who is about to turn 13 and whose family cause her enough problems to make earthquakes seem benign. The prologue is very much an introduction to her and the most important relationship, at least for now, but it's good to question everything.

In Chapter Three there's a character I'm thinking of jettisoning completely. Around Chapter 12 there's a major problem with the span of time. There are other characters - and a cat - that I haven't used enough. Various chapters seem to work wonderfully well but aspects in them need more research. Others feel clunky and overwritten. I have three Mondays in a row in one, which is ridiculous. And many of these stem from issues that were not issues in the film script on which it is based. Now, instead of lying down quietly and rolling a rug over themselves, these self-same issues are wearing pink neon striped tights on their heads and jumping up and down.

The only elements that are not up for question are the piranha Ponchinello and the plot.

But can I do it all in nine days when it's already nearly three pm on Day 1?

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