The first chapter of Killer-Kate and Luke Lackland took me a day or three to write. The second proved harder, both to tell and to get right enough: a matter of so many weeks. This third chapter, of the Disenchanted Woods, has taken me close on a year.
On Monday I finished it at last. It is only six pages, and one of them just now written. But it has seemed as broad and grievous to me as my heroes' generation-long disenchantment. Now hoofbeats sound in the distance, and they have found the last adventure they longed for; and Golden Kate - one of the most chronically humourless characters I've ever really enjoyed writing - has just met the prospect with the worst and weakest joke in her entire world. This is the kind of reason I love her.
The next chapter is very short and is going to hurt a lot. I'm not sure that part of my trouble with this whole story hasn't been the lurking dread of writing it. Finished the easier bit yesterday, need to complete the rest this week. Past this deadly passage... the tale grows very different, and I'm looking forward to it with a keen appetite.
Still looking for a proper title for this whole yarn: the winter's tale that answers and completes Katy Elflocks's song of a summer. Currently leaning towards Red Yule Rising, but not convinced. Red Yule (I think I owe that one to Bill Swears of rasfc)? Northdales Rising? On the one hand, I want the combination of winter shadow with the red of blood, fire, and other lesser levellers. On the other, the double sense of rising, as wreck and revolution and yet also the turning of the year towards spring. I'm not sure how I can get both at once. Ah well, a fair few chapters before I have to decide for good.
Thinking again that the original middle panel of the Three Katherines triptych should not appear explicitly in this sequence at all. The discovery of how Kate and Luke came to fall so low, from their questionably-earned happy endings in the epilogue of Katy, looks like being a more natural force of narrative tension than I'd guessed. If this whole book is simply Katy Elflocks followed by Killer-Kate, then the tension and doubt won't get dissipated in the much longer and more complicated tragicomedy of Kit Fox between - and I see a whole new unity of theme beginning to emerge. Also, the diptych-version ought to be a reasonable length for a novel, and there is some honest prospect of finishing this year. Which would be nice.
It is just as thoroughly Three Katherines of Allingdale as ever, though.
Coming to the hard place tomorrow. Too tired to try now, too wired to sleep. Will go to bed and count dragons for a bit.
Nature's Bounty - (This poem is brought to you courtesy of one too many forage enthusiasts being Wrong on the Internet about the merits of nomming on random bits of black ni...
1 year ago