It’s always Chapter 4. It doesn’t matter what story I’m writing, Chapter 4 is always a bear. It’s the natural breaking point between the introduction of the characters and the set-up of the story and the middle of the book. For some reason, that transition is hard — even if I know how I want it to go. In this case, I jinxed myself, because I said I said it should go fast.
It so didn’t.
According to my time log, it took 14.5 hours to edit! Aggggg. (Yes, I log how much time I spend writing. It appeals to the geeky side of me.) The chapter just didn’t flow. The first half is written from the heroine’s point-of-view (POV), while the second half is from the hero’s. For the longest time, I couldn’t even get to the hero’s half, because I was stuck on the heroine’s scene like a needle stuck on a record. I kept going over it and over it, trying to fix it. After a couple of days, I finally realized I had an info dump. An info dump is when there’s not much going on, but you’re just spewing information all over the reader. It could be backstory, or it could be a character’s thoughts. In this case, I’d jumped forward in time, but was explaining what had happened in the interim. Not good.
The problem was how to fix it? And that was a pain. I brought in another character so the heroine could have somebody to talk to, instead of just running through things in her head. That helped. Then I switched the sequence of events. It’s still not perfect, but it’s better. Finally, I had to step away from it.
When I got to the hero’s POV, I again thought it would be smooth sailing. That’s where the love scene begins, but not even it went smoothly. And that’s a problem!
Anyway, I’m now considering Chapter Four in good enough shape to move on to Chapter Five. Never again will I assume that a Chapter Four will be easy — because Chapter Fours are evil.
Current word count, 20, 200.