Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chapter Three: The Denouement

I know that I said that chapter two was one of my favorites but chapter three, totaling out at about 2800 words actually is my favorite. That's because chapter three is all about the denouement. A denouement; The final resolution or clarification of a dramatic or narrative plot. While this isn't, obviously, the end of the book it is definitely a plot point where information is needed in order for my novel to continue. A reveal and a denouement can mean the same thing, but not all the time. You can have several denouements, or "little reveals", that lead up to the final reveal in a story. I think that is what I did with chapter three, and will continue to do as the novel goes on.
I worked hard at adding contextual clues into the first two chapters without giving away exactly what Cherry is and in this chapter, though it's not complete exposed as to what she is, there's enough there for the reader to figure it out for themselves.

Each time I go back and reread the chapter (which I did tonight to check for the same tensing issues I had had in chapter two and even found some), I find that I love the chapter more and more. There are so many sensory things happening in it that I feel compels people to read on... things they can taste and feel and see. I know it sounds like I'm tooting my own horn here, and in a way I feel it's deserved. It was made clear from the first blog post that this is my first novel, so I am really learning to explore along with the editors exactly what I am writing. I feel like this is the strongest chapter and I hope to write others as strong in the future for this novel.

Speaking on the subject of "reveals", usually they are held out until the last possible moment. I suppose you could say that chapter three holds one of many reveals throughout the story. I don't think that a story loses out because a reveal is, well, revealed early. In fact, I feel that in certain genres, this will decide whether a person is going to like a book or put it down and select something else. Obviously, if you are writing a mystery, it would be unwise to reveal the mystery in the first few chapter unless it was a total red herring or you had a good excuse for doing so and it led to a better ending for the book.

When do reveals happen in stories you have read or are writing? Are those moments of clarity what you live for in a story? 

Happy writing!

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