This is my first official Progress Report on writing the new novel tentatively titled Eyes on the Mountain, set on and around Mt. Shasta in Northern California.
Two days ago I reread the first four completed chapters and made line edits, mostly to condense descriptive details in chapter two that were slowing down the pace in an unnecessary (and I think self-indulgent) way. Yesterday I wrote the first scene in chapter five. The scene is only two pages long, but I’m pleased with it and was surprised when a hitherto nonexistent character hauled her opinions and her laptop onto the stage. (That’s not figurative. There’s a stage in the scene.)
I had a difficult time getting into the scene, so I tried a trick that I’ve used successfully when writing nonfiction: I left my office, sat in the cat porch, and used the voice memo function on my phone to record myself speaking sentences instead of typing them. The results were mixed; none of the recorded text ended up in the scene once I returned to the office and started typing, but the words I had spoken gave me something to work from, mainly because those words allowed me to see what would work when the recorded words didn’t.