Friday, October 05, 2007

Journal of a “Novel”-Entry 38

Chapter IV Title Revealed

Boy, if that doesn’t get you fired up, I don’t know what would……little by little I am slowly making progress towards completing Chapter IV of the novel. I have two segments to write after the one I am working on presently, and it will be done. I think the chapter is turning out pretty well, especially in light of the fact that it has to account for three years of time that has been skipped over (this is the first chapter, aside from the Prologue, not set in 1924 – it jumps forward to 1927). For Chapter V, I am trying to decide if it will skip ahead another few years, or pick up where Chapter IV leaves off – still to be determined. Before the end of the novel, the story has to advance out to at least 1941, and possibly up to 1960, depending on decisions to be made later about what to include from the full arc of Brogan’s lifetime.

The current chapter, Chapter IV, is officially called “A Lawyer Returns, Life After Death”. To me that title captures the main events of the chapter well without revealing too much. It also contains an element of mystery that may or not be what the reader expects. It’s certainly a lot of fun to give these chapters their titles; some of them probably work better than others. And in the case of the first chapter of the novel, “Sweet Music, Pretty Flowers”, the title was provided by a real-life source, a newspaper clipping from Mishawaka, Indiana, circa the turn of the last century, reporting on the wedding of my real-life great grandfather, Valoris Lovell, to Florence Gilman. (I altered it slightly for my story.) Maybe for no other reason that symmetry or even convenience, I decided that the other chapters would be titled the same way – two elements contained within the chapter separated by a comma. Sort of a comma splice, really, but I like it for its balance – each title having a similar structure to me will look interesting, potentially, on a Table of Contents page. For example:

A Novel


I. Sweet Music, Pretty Flowers
II. A Premature Death, New Experiences
III. The Fiery Cross, Revelations
IV. A Lawyer Returns, Life After Death
V. Blah blah, blah blah

Et cetera……

Anyway, this is all I really wanted to mention here. I still have two critical sequences to compose for Chapter IV so it is by no means in the books, followed by the usual 2-3 part editing process, before I can move on. I have some loose ideas surrounding the next chapter, but they are fairly nebulous at this point – it will take settling in to the work on that chapter to get it moving. For now I hope to continue what for me constitutes reasonably steady effort on the rest of this chapter and see it through to the strong and hopefully resonant conclusion it definitely requires.

Stay tuned, for anyone who tunes in in the first place…..

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