When you write tight (I’m talking about the page, here, people, not the writer), there are only a certain number of places where a change will fit. sometimes you get lucky, sometimes it’s next to impossible.

I’m facing that now.

Each chapter must make as much emotional sense as plot sense, yes? And that’s where the problem arrives. If you’ve carefully structured the emotional arc of a chapter, any attempt to shoehorn-in a new tension will not be looked upon kindly by the rest of the chapter. Square pegs, round holes.

The good thing is that the search yields some valuable revelations. The chapter that has been laying on the page, well-written, singing in the tape-playback, still is reporting and not action (and again, I’m not talking about bang-bang, car-chase action, but the force that shows the development as well as reports it.)

I loved the chapter, but it didn’t move me. Spoke to me, but didn’t thrill me. Last night, in the search for “where does this go”, I figured that out—not the solution, exactly, but the problem, certainly. It will mean more work, more standing back from the canvas to see how the brush strokes must change. But that’s okay.

Hammers don’t make square pegs fit those holes. But effort will. I don’t really mind chipping away and chipping away and chipping away until the thing fits…because most often I’ll look back later and think “you actually wrote that?”, forgetting how much sweat and pain went into the result.

We are masochists, writers. We are fantasists. We are maladjusted idealists. We smile at the wrong things. We smile at nothing and weep at less. We are destroyers of worlds.

We are square pegs, writers. We are glad to be.

NOTE: I’m going to keep dropping reminders of those tasty sample chapters at the Spiritkeeper site, just in case it’s raining where you are this weekend, and you find yourself in need of an afternoon snack. Cheers.

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