I put a number of hours into this website, and I was pretty excited about it going live Saturday night, in conjunction with the Wanderlust Facebook Page. After telling everyone about it, I sat in front of my browser for a few hours, and refreshed the page to see how many people had “liked” Wanderlust. By midnight on that first night I had 32 likes on Facebook. Today, I have 56. I am SO excited that so many of you have shown your support for my project in this way, but having “likes” on facebook isn’t really an achievement I should take pride in. I still have to wrestle with the demon. I still have to sit down and write. I’m trying to see those likes as 56 people who are counting on me to finish this book. And so I decided that I wouldn’t allow myself to post here again until I had done something about Chapter Eight.
I believe I have been uttering the words, “Chapter Eight is killing me” since at least March. In June, I completely skipped it. As the manuscript stood this weekend, I had passable drafts for chapters nine and ten, but a roiling mess of half-completed scenes and word-vomit for chapter eight.
I am happy to announce that I have done something about it.
It still needs work. There are at least three transitions that seem clunky, and things that need better descriptions, and a few logic/context issues that may need a few more details… but the point is that if someone read my manuscript now, they’d at least understand what’s going on. All the parts fit together, and are in some approximation of a narrative voice. This is a HUGE improvement, and a major tick on the writing to-do list. I think it’s been so difficult because more things happen in this chapter than I realize; it’s almost rivaling chapter one (the longest chapter) for length.
Fun fact: Chapter eight has horses in it. While writing last night, I got distracted for a half hour or so learning about the colors horses come in (I knew all this stuff when I was ten!), looking at horse pictures (I want this one. I have always wanted this one, even before they went and put him in a movie) and watching horse videos on youtube (I used to ride, you know, and it’s been nine years, but when I watch someone trotting around on a horse I can feel the horse moving in my hands and legs, and I know I’d remember how to do it if I got the chance) and I learned a New Thing. I knew horses had four gaits (walk, trot, canter, and gallop (video)) but I didn’t know that some horses naturally have a different gait, called an amble or a lope. Only a few breeds do this naturally, and they are sometimes referred to as gaited horses. This extra gait has four beats like a walk is but is the speed of a trot, making it very desirable for riders that want trot speed without all the jostle! I knew that there were different sorts of gaits and ways of moving practiced by highly trained dressage riders and their horses, but it was news to me that some horses have an extra gait naturally.