|Gateway at Dendera temple (photo by author)|
Remember Victorian novels? There's the severe fever, and then the terrible midnight moment when the doctor says, "This is the crisis." And you know that the outcome of this moment will be life or death.
I'm in a crisis! Because my book revision has reached the crisis (or climax). The terrible confrontation, the moment of truth and shame. Where my hero protagonist acts despicably.
Precisely, my challenge is writing the unwinding or unraveling after the crisis. The denouement, we called this, in English class.
For my character, this unraveling could lead to madness or death—already his constant fears. Will the outcome be negative or positive? [Clue: title of this blog post!]
My protagonist represses his feelings, but now he's up against a wall. Under pressure, he must express some interior activity. But how much, and where?
Then there's the sequence and number of confrontations/conversations after the crisis point. I need to delineate damaged relationships and their slow healing (to the extent that they do heal). As I reread my draft, I realize that the relationships heal too quickly and effortlessly.
I've started a blank page for reworking this material. I'll throw up a skeleton of events, and then see which thoughts and feelings weave themselves into this skeleton as a kind of connective tissue, and which are unnecessary or uncharacteristic or should remain unexpressed.
The first 8500 words of revision of part 3 went pretty smoothly. And now—aargh! But if I nail this section, it's my opportunity to make the book shine!