I’m at a different cafe…

I'm at a different cafe today, trying to find one that's more convenient for some of my north side writer friends. Cafe Avanti is comfy, has free wifi, and seems well-suited to writing, especially with their quiet back room. But all that said, I think it's just too far for me to come. It took close to an hour to get here, and either two buses or one bus and a long walk (same time, essentially). When winter comes, I'm not going to want to be waiting for that second bus, I'm sure. So, pleasant enough for today, but I think I'm going to pass on it for the future. I recommend it to you if you live in the area, though (about 3200 north, 1200 west).

Yesterday was a good book day -- I retyped the first chapter and revised the second two. That took a few hours, but the result is far more coherent than it had been. The story is actually starting to make some sense, which is reassuring. I only generated about five hundred new words (for the fourth chapter), but I'm still pleased with what I accomplished. I think the end of the fourth chapter will also work as the end of the first section, which is exciting to think about. I'm still not sure what I'll be doing with the next section -- I'm tempted to make a radical jump in time and place and character, to Sri Lanka a few generations previous. I don't think I'll be giving that part of the book equal weight to the present-day material -- right now, it feels more like the Sri Lanka sections might serve as fragmentary interludes, in between the major present-day sections. But we'll see. Right now, the structure is all up in the air.

I really like structure. Structure is the way I usually end up making sense of the story, in my head. The characters exist before the story starts, and after it ends, and in all sorts of places in the middle that I choose not to focus on. They give the story depth. But it's the structure that gives it shape, that says, this, this is the piece of music we're listening to, right here, right now. Music is all around us, occupying all the spaces -- but we're limited humans -- we can't listen to it all at once. Structure lets us make sense of it. It's the story we tell ourselves, limited, but illuminating.

One thought on “I’m at a different cafe…”

  1. Structure is usually my biggest struggle. My stories often come to me characters first, diaglogue next and in bits and pieces that I just jot down until I feel I’ve said all I can say – or all they’ve wanted me to say- and then I work on piecing it together. Every now and then I’ll have an epiphany and think “I should tell this story in four parts” or “This story should be written in letter form” but it’s rare.

    It’s so exciting being a fly on the wall watching you create. The writing process always intrigues me.

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