I know I’ve said a million times that you shouldn’t go back and re-write until you’re finished…but, rules are made to be broken.
The “original” draft of Chapter 11 moved things along at what I thought was too quick a pace. There was too much pluperfect recap in the first two pages or so that just felt rushed, to me; an “info dump,” of sorts. So, while this does not change anything that happens in the chapters following, and while it may very well end up hitting the floor when I do my first big edit (in which I’ll likely cut about 10-15% of text), I’ll at least have gotten the words down.
The sofa wasn’t very cosy – it was too short for him to stretch out properly, for one thing – but it was a hundred times better than the chairs in the CCU lounge or in Amber’s room, which were barely comfortable enough for sitting, let alone dozing. And it was hours closer than his own bed, to which he wasn’t quite ready to retreat, yet, with Amber still alone at hospital. Still, he managed to drift into a fitful sort-of sleep, waking just past six with a crick in his legs and a rotten-tasting dryness in his mouth.
Stumbling to the bathroom, he managed to find a bottle of mouthwash and freshened up a bit with that. He washed his face, too, pausing to take note of the dark circles under his reddened eyes, and the uneven two-day growth of beard on his face. He smelled of nervous sweat and musk, as well, but there was little to be done about that, beyond a cursory wash of pits and appendages at the sink.
As shit as he looked, though, and as shit as he felt, he knew that it wasn’t anything compared to what was waiting for Amber. And it was for that reason more than any other that he frowned at his own ridiculous vanity, swiped the spare keys from the kitchen counter, and jogged back to hospital as quickly as he could do, ignoring the fresh rain that pattered down around him.
Maybe I originally glossed over a lot of the hospital scenes because writing them has been so difficult for me. It means going to a place inside of my memories that I don’t like to visit. Except that the pain and uncertainty in those moments of just waiting, not knowing, can’t be approximated any other way. Not by me, at least.
I don’t enjoy hurting these characters, who are such a part of myself. But through pain, we grow. And Ross needs to grow, if he’s going to be fearless.
Have you ever relived a painful part of your past, to get more in touch with the heart of your story?