I’ve made it to week 2 which means I must have written two more chapters of my as-yet-untitled middle grade adventure *pats own back*.
This week I couldn’t do the normal school book club on Thursday. I offered to cancel but apparently nobody wanted to miss a week so I went in today instead. Very chuffed that they were looking forward to it but Wednesday lunchtime meant competing with choir. It was especially gratifying then to see the same sea of faces as last week, all waiting to hear the next instalment. They’re definitely invested in the two main characters and absolutely champing at the bit to see romance blossom even though that’s only been very gently hinted at so far. Also thrilled to see Tunnocks Teacakes were the snack of choice this week. One of my favourites!
I had already agonised over these weeks chapters. The opening was quite action-packed and originally I envisaged the next two chapters as a bit more relaxed. Background scene-setting. But then in the middle of the night last night I had a crisis of confidence about them possibly being a let-down after the all-guns-blazing openers. Cue hasty early morning redraft!
The reading was really interesting. After I’d finished one girl said she had wanted to know more about the world they were entering. Exactly the stuff I had removed and ear-marked to weave in later on. This generated a really fascinating discussion about pace and whether, after a couple of hi-octane chapters, the readers might need time to draw breath. All good stuff that I’m going to consider over the coming chapters and ongoing revisions.
Once again they were full of ideas about how the story should progress. Next week they will meet the baddie for the first time and they had some great thoughts about how they’d like that to happen. So many in fact that we chatted about how writing might involve decisions about what to leave out just as much as what to include. I made lots of notes!
I’m sure these are all things that every experienced middle grade writer thinks about twice before breakfast but it’s all part of the adventure for me! Having this group of avid readers to bounce ideas around with is brilliant.
I’ve reached the end of the material that I had roughly drafted now. I have a rough plot sketched out but it’s really a blank canvas from here on! This is where the adventure is really going to start!