Razor Mountain Development Journal — Chapter 29

This is part of an ongoing series where I’m documenting the development of my serial novel, Razor Mountain.

You can find my spoiler-free journals for each chapter, my spoiler-heavy pre-production journals, and the book itself over at the Razor Mountain landing page.

You might recall that last time I decided to split the original Chapter 28 into two pieces. That turned out to be a good idea, because this “half” was still longer than my average chapter. Once again, dialogue fills up the pages quickly.

Large Group Dialogue

With Christopher and the entire Razor Mountain cabinet all seated around the conference table, there are fourteen people in the room during this chapter. This kind of large group dialogue isn’t something I have to do a lot, so it was an interesting challenge.

Most of the group hasn’t been introduced at this point, so I used Christopher’s faulty memory as an excuse to keep some of the secretaries anonymous for now. This limits the number of characters I have to introduce, and the number of characters the reader has to try to track.

I find that one of the best ways to keep the dialogue flowing is to be willing to adjust it as I go. I always have an idea of what I want to get across in a given scene, but I often rearrange the elements based on how I feel they would come up naturally in the conversation. I included some things in this chapter that I hadn’t initially planned to, because it felt like it would be strange for the secretaries to not ask certain questions.

Once again, it’s a balancing act in this book, because there are so many reveals to get to before the end. There are six (planned) chapters left, but that may change with some of the things planned for future chapters being pulled into this one.

The Detective’s Monologue

The detective’s monologue is a mystery trope where the main character reveals the answers to all the mysteries in a scene near the end of the story. This chapter felt a bit like that for Cain. He’s not pointing out the killer, but he is helping to explain the strange circumstances that led Christopher to Razor Mountain.

Meanwhile, Christopher reveals things that the other characters aren’t aware of, but the reader is mostly already familiar with. I could have tried to gloss over this, but I thought it might be beneficial to use this as a reminder of things that happened early in the story, so they’re fresh in the reader’s mind. The God-Speaker reveal also casts them in a different light.

Emotional Impact

Although this chapter (like the last couple) is mostly about getting across a lot of information, I did want to include an emotional twist at the end. Christopher has spent the entire book trying to get back home, and now his followers offer to bring him “home” within Razor Mountain. Christopher still isn’t going home. His homecoming is really God-Speaker’s.

In a lot of ways, this is what the remainder of the book is all about: how Christopher feels about becoming God-Speaker, and what he’s going to do about it.

Next Time

In Chapter 30, Christopher will have to start grappling with the changes going on inside his own head. And there’s still the issue of that pesky murderer skulking about.

Author: Samuel Johnston

Professional software developer, unprofessional writer, and generally interested in almost everything.

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