Writing forwards, thinking backwards

NotebookWord count: 75,652

Wow, I can’t believe it’s a month since I last blogged about The Dragons of Bloodrock: my current novel-in-progress. The MS is now around ten thousand words longer than it was back in June, which means I’m still keeping to my (self-enforced) schedule.

This morning I reviewed the last chapter I’d written, agonised over it for far longer than necessary and eventually deleted it. The reason? Well, it picks up on two characters I’d left in the middle of a fight a couple of chapters earlier. When I came back to them, I decided to sideline the fight in favour of lots of chat. Mistake. Actually, at this stage of the narrative, just a handful of chapters from the end of the book: big mistake.

I’m now rewriting the action so that all that essential chatter occurs in the middle of an underground pitched battle between two fiercely opposed dragon factions. It’s one of those decisions that, once you’ve made it, is a clear no-brainer. There’s a political coup going on – why not plunge my characters right into the middle of it?

In recent weeks, the most enjoyable aspect of this story has been what Doctor Who would call the timey-wimey stuff. If you’ve been following these posts from the beginning, you’ll know I’m stirring a little time travel into the Dragoncharm mix. I know that might sound a odd but trust me, it’s working a treat.

There’s one other thing I’ve noticed: as I approach the end of the first draft, the list of notes I keep at the bottom of the MS has started to grow fast. Very fast. The closer I get to the end of the novel, the more things are cropping up that need fixing at the beginning. If I don’t keep track of them as I go, when I start rewriting they’ll have fallen out of my head.

So all the time I’m writing forwards, I’m thinking backwards. It’s another kind of time travel. The end is nigh. But the beginning is nigher.

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