If you haven’t done so already, go read Chapter 3 first, as my notes here will be pointless otherwise. But if you have already read it, then we notice this chapter is all about interaction, first in Wal-mart, and later in the farmhouse. After having both the main characters come into our story within the first two chapters we can now step back and watch them interact. We see how they get along, and even how they disagree. We are offered a glimpse at their lives on the surface as well as the emotional side of their characters. In this way we try to subtly (or not so subtly) build both the commonalities and conflict that all dramatic stories share. We see her happy go lucky exterior has a few cracks and we stand by shaking our head at his ineptness with the opposite sex.
Also in this chapter we see slow reveals of the characters’ back story. Back story isn’t always easy as it’s so simple to fall prey to telling people what went on before rather than showing it. I’m not sure if I succeed in that struggle, but we do learn a little about their past this time around and get the impression they both may be running from something, an idea we will build on in later chapters. I like throwing hints into my stories no matter what genre I’m working with. Namedropping and alluding to events that haven’t been previously discussed adds a “come back for more” element that hopefully makes the reader go, “Oh, what is this? Do tell.” In drama the twists and shadows are a little more subdued than say in an action or horror novel, but as a writer I feel they are not only interesting, but essential to the growth of the story. In fact , often when I throw these hints in there even I don’t know what they mean at the time, but they serve as good tools for me to dive into my characters and find out. In this sense I am a reader too.
Finally, because I felt I may have overused music and song references in the last chapter (I will overuse them again, trust me), I left out that element in this chapter and focused solely on interaction and dialogue. Hopefully it works to draw the reader into the characters more, and less into the music that may shape this story or their lives.
Well that’s my notes for Chapter 3. Hang tight, Chapter 4 is on the way…