Pinning It Down

As promised, here’s a little peek at my process of writing. I’m just doing this in case anyone was curious. At the moment I’m doing my continuity edit on Coals of Fire: Ash, so this is a nice little interlude for you fine folk to have something slightly different.

I’m also attempting to write some shorter fiction, to refine my craft. If any of them are interesting enough, they will go up here.

So here are my notes for Chapter Ten of Ash. As you’ll recall, this is the grand finale chapter in which the threads of the two timelines (Colin and Jason) mesh together. I have three scribbled pages of notes:

Page One:

– Pass the week quickly. Mum distracted, nervous. Not sleeping. I watch the succession of people outside the house. Pretending I’m ill, so no school. “Feel better” by Friday, so decide I’ll go to dad’s [No. Mum insists — don’t want to b/c of Rachel — Maybe 1 night, then home.] Phone him, but no answer. Not surprising. Probably still at work.
– Go out in the garden. Catch on the end of a phone call. “Well, sort it! Do your job!”
– Apologises. Hug + kiss. Longer hug than usual. Maybe a tear?
– On the train, jumpy. Every glance seems directed at me. Walk fast from station to dad’s block. Man on wall; gets up + follows me. Relate incident.
– Phone mum. “Guy here asking about dad, and dad’s not here.”
“Come home.”
“Mum. Be honest. Is something going on?”
“Come home, Jason.”

Page Two:

“He’s not going to follow me or anything, is he?”
“Just come home!”
Go home. Being followed. He’s not very good at it. When I turn into my street there’s something in the air that makes me uneasy. Silence. Open front door. Mum’s in the kitchen with Rachel. Man (men?) with them. Guns etc.
“What’s going on?”
“Sit down. Some bad people who are after my work. These men are here to protect us. Whatever happens, stay with Rachel. Do you understand? You two are not to leave each others’ sight.”
“Promise me!”
“I promise!”
Sound of helicopter.
“What is that?”
-> “Incoming hostiles etc.”
“What is that, mum?”
“Be brave, honey, be brave.”
Then all hell breaks loose.

Page Three:

I can’t confront mum. I try to, but I never finish? And if you’re thinking it would be the best and easiest thing to to, let me ask you this: could you accuse your mum of (being a) child abuse? To her face?
I didn’t think so.
I try to tell dad. I call him on Tuesday, but I can’t think of anything to say.
Go out for a meal on Friday.
Go out somewhere? Walking? Mum gets the phone call. Jason overhears again.
– Third phonecall: she calls Ray.

As you can see, this is very much my way of ‘thinking aloud’, just trying to get anything down on the page. I’ll question myself, challenge myself, talk to myself and generally play with scenes and ideas like a kid with play-dough.

What about you? I’d love to see some other people’s examples of their rough drafts. It’s a fascinating look behind the curtain of an author’s process.

One thought on “Pinning It Down

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  1. Wow! This is actually really cool. I think I only occasionally do something like that, as I’m outlining the entire novel, if certain scenes and lines jump out at me. But I actually love this idea of writing, and the behind the scenes look at things is always fun. 🙂

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