Dying of neglect

Do you remember those Tamagotchi pets that were all the rage for about five minutes back in the 1990s? You had a virtual electronic “pet” you had to pay attention to or—get this—it would DIE.

A bit grim, if you ask me.

Still, if my blog were a Tamagotchi, it would be a shriveled husk lying on its back with its legs curled in the air. I’d promise to be more regular, but, to paraphrase, I won’t write checks my blog can’t keep.

It’s not like I’m not writing, though. Having currently sort-of slain the beast known as chapter seven, I’ve plunged into chapter eight only to realize that chapter seven, which weighed in at a healthy, hefty (checks count) 8,032 words, is most likely chapter seven plus a decent bit of chapter eight. On the one hand, yay. On the other hand, where do I split this thing?

Maybe chapter seven is just too long.

It’s odd, because I’ve been writing these middle chapters (it’s outlined out to chapter 16) while my friend David has been reading and giving me feedback up through chapter six so far. (I suppose I could give him chapter seven and say, “Where would you end it?” but that just seems, well, lazy—and a little mean.)

Right, now that I’ve pressed the blog’s buttons a bit, I’m sure I’ve staved off any terminal condition, so I’m going back to writing chapter eight. Meanwhile, here’s a picture of my cute dog, whom I have managed to keep alive for years now.

It's a dog's life.

3 thoughts on “Dying of neglect

  1. Thanks for reminding me I need to re-divvy my manuscript into manageable chapters. Ugh.

    Chapters came up at the outlining seminar the Lit Arts section did for the St. Louis Artists’ Guild last month. Mr. Bauer and myself had an exchange on the viability of adapting the classic short story formula to chapter design: hook, body, resolution, twist. If you just keep writing after the twist, it becomes the hook for the next chapter.

    I believe this should be known as the “knitting a scarf” method.

    Anyway, see if there’s a buried twist in the big chapter.

    • Oh, he’s still pretty big (to me, at least). About 65-70 pounds, which is small compared to a purebred Newfoundland. He has a ton of fur, though, so he looks a lot bigger than he weighs.

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