… with a word count of 30,657. The structural constraint of 5,000 words per chapter, to which I’ve been trying to adhere, seems to have been working. Chapter 6 does not contain any scenes featuring Viktor and Eva. It is the first chapter from which they are completely absent. Following the catastrophic event that concluded chapter 5, I wanted to build, in the mind of the reader, a sense of curiosity about what happened to them; where they went; what they’ve been doing. At the same time there was a need to shape the events other characters are involved in, in preparation for upcoming planned plot points. In Chapter 7 Viktor and Eva will reenter the story, and much of the chapter will be about the development of their relationship. An important new character will also be introduced, who (finally) forms the bridge to some of Eva’s past.
I’ve been reading John Trulby’s book: The Anatomy of Story – a great read for anyone trying to write fiction. In New Zealand I read, with great interest, the section on symbols. And reading this, I realised that I’ve instinctively stumbled on some symbolism in my story. I’m thinking here of Eva’s mother’s juggling balls, and what happens to them, how they fall into the hands of some of the men in the story that are competing for her attention. Its interesting to me that even when simply following blind instinct, you can sometimes produce story elements that have legitimate, or theoretical value.
Last night, while walking my dogs, I was listening through my headphones to an old lecture by Pema Chodron , in which she described a Tibetan Buddhist approach to ego, or the “The well-fortified ego”, by which she means an ego that is meant to provide protection from the world at large, but instead makes a prisoner of the soul who possesses it. The kind of ego that could benefit from some opening up; some “ventilation”; some curiosity about other systems; other world concepts; other views of the universe, and my ears pricked up, because of the direct fit between this concept and the basic premise of my planned story: “The Electric Fence”. Its amazing sometimes, just how providential life can be.