This one was unexpectedly tricky. I thought it’d be easy, because it’s action-heavy and action tends to be easier to write if anything, in my experience.
Rather than have a standard chase sequence, I decided early on to intersperse it with flashbacks to an event from Kay’s childhood.
That particular event only came into focus during the writing, which caused a few headaches – pitching the content of ADoF is a bit of a balancing act. Theoretically it’s aimed at late teens and upwards, with a bit of a hard edge – some of the content is potentially inappropriate for younger readers. The scene between Kay and Daniel was tricky in that it had the potential to become much nastier, in several ways.
I went back and forth on what exactly happened behind the changing rooms, before settling on a ‘less is more’ approach. We never find out exactly what Daniel was intending to do – it was probably bad – and we also don’t find out exactly what Kay did to stop him – it was probably also pretty bad. Ultimately I think that’s more effective in this case and fits better with the overall tone of the ADoF series. While there are some pretty dark moments, overall it remains an adventure with a lot of humour.
Aside from that, there was an added complication of there being a double-flashback structure. The chapter is being told from the point of view of Kay in the farmhouse, with the first flashback to the escape from Wynton Simons’ house. Then within that there’s the second nested flashback to Kay’s childhood. The first published version of this chapter was a complete mess in terms of past and present tenses. The day after publication I reworked it to have more consistency, such that the school scenes are told in the present tense, even though they take place the longest time ago. It’s an unusual way to structure the narrative but it hopefully work in context.
At the same time as writing this chapter I’ve also been working on the ebook for the collected edition of Arc 2. It’s slowly forming up but is still a few weeks away.
Soundtrack: Arrow Season 2, by Blake Neely. Because that show spends an awful lot of time running through forests, so seemed appropriate.