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Chapter Breakdowns

You know, this should be the easy part.

For the U.K. project, I had to work out the synopsis of my story and then filter and distill it down to a 750-word pitch. Being long-winded, I struggled with that puppy, adding some detail here, cutting details out here, finding a shorter, tighter way to say X when I really wanted to bring out Y, etc.

I know this story cold.

But now, I'm having to expand it (1-2 paragraphs per chapter) and it's kicking my tail. I know what I want to say, but having to propose how the chapters are going to work out, ensuring a good pacing and putting in just enough information without overwhelming my prospective editor is tough.

Now, I am a plotter, not a pantser, but my outlines are usually pretty sparse. A few words or phrases to keep me on line, because I tend to move the edges of the chapters depending on the narrative. Now, I'm actually having to figure out the pacing, where the cliffhangers need to go, how much info to reveal when now rather than later. It's not that different from doing my outlines, just a bit more detail.

This should be easy.

I think what's getting me frazzled is this is the second half of the job application. In my work on Gauntlet, once the pitch had been accepted, I had a contract. Sure, I still had to do basic chapter breakdowns, but that was so Midway felt comfortable with what I was doing with their characters. With Childhood's Tears, if they don't like the chapter breakdowns, I might not get the contract. So, I'm sweating what's probably the easiest part of the process . . .

. . . or, it should be.

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