Some of the chapters narrated by Kate are too long. I’m deliberating whether to cut them in half or not. If I do, then I’ll have to let go of my previous idea of alternating Kate’s and Nick’s chapters. Maybe it wouldn’t be too bad, huh? Kate’s voice is distinctly different from that of Nick’s, so the reader wouldn’t be confused. Still, I kind of like the idea of balancing their narrations, giving them equal time and space. This is going to be difficult, because in the second half of the novel Kate “can’t shut up,” but Nick is almost silent. Through my fault, not his, because I don’t give him a chance to speak, except for in Kate’s chapters. No, I’m not being gender-biased. I focus mostly on Kate’s experiences and feelings because she is a guest/tourist in Russia, that’s why. What if I rewrite some parts of Kate’s chapters from Nick’s point of view, like I did in the previous novel? That could work. Still pondering the solution…
That’s what I wrote this morning. It’s evening now, and I’m done working. I did split Ch. 4 into two chapters. But I may make some changes later.
HIGH STAKES. I’ve been thinking about them today. Every author stresses their importance. Donald Maass says, “In every novel stakes work on two levels, public and private. … [And] a combination of high public stakes and deep personal stakes is the most powerful engine a breakout novel can have.” (62)
Well, I think I have the aforementioned combination in my novel. Or rather, I will have it, once I manage to put into words—on the page!—the things that are in my head, still in a nascent state. But the personal stakes are already obvious in the book. I just need to escalate them. I will, also later. Always putting important things on the back burner… 🙂
Mr. Maass advises to “dramatize the inner struggle.” He says, “Every protagonist needs a torturous need, a consuming fear, an aching regret, a visible dream, a passionate longing, an inescapable ambition, an exquisite lust, an inner lack, a fatal weakness, an unavoidable obligation, an iron instinct, a noble ideal, an undying hope…whatever it is that in the end propels him beyond the boundaries that confine the rest of us and brings about fulfilling change.” (77)
Goodness, I have them all! 🙂 Even though he means that at least one need driving a protagonist is necessary for fulfilling a change.
Oh, if only I could deliver it beautifully! Then I would send a query letter to Mr. Maass, a renowned literary agent. Dreams, dreams… But is there harm in dreaming? 🙂