Writing Journal

For The Remembrance, from 15 March.

The first half of the chapter works just as I want is as a journal, recounting events of the past. The second half works just as I want it as normal narrative fiction. I had accidentally transitioned from one to the other while writing it. I didn’t notice the problem until it was pointed out to me. I made a half-ass attempt to shoehorn the second half into journal format, but it was lame and the end result was terrible. Now I’m left with a broken first chapter of the Remembrance – again – and a question. What now?

I could trash the second half and rewrite it. From scratch. I very much do not want to do this.

I could trash the first half and rewrite it. From scratch. I very much do not want to do this.

I could create a framework for the chapter that allows for the first half to be journal and the second half to be narrative. That seems clumsy, and a little bit like lazy writing, but I’m not sure that there’s another option, save from giving up on the book.

Chapter 2 moves in and out of journal mode fairly successfully (despite all of the red ink that Nikki is spraying on its pages), but its model seems significantly different. The opening of Chapter 1 has Jason writing in a journal trying to make sense of what’s going on around him. Could he reach a point in the story where he concludes the effort, or gives up on it, and then the story progresses as normal fiction?

If he could, the point would have to be after he buries his mother, before he heads back to the asylum. I would have to change some time references in the first half, and then add a short bit about what he does with the journal once he’s done writing in it.

Nikki immediately liked this idea, which is only a little terrifying. She suggested the same spot to make the break. So, that’d be it.

What would he do with the journal? Will it be like Herod’s old letter, stuffed in the mailbox? Or would he leave it on the porch? Would he take it with him, to keep safe in case he needed to write in it again? Or would he just want to keep the record of those thoughts safe?

Would he operate on instinct, grabbing it and putting it in his coat without thinking?