I’m flying, but I’m in a steady descent, going nowhere fast. I pull up on the stick, to no avail. I’m getting closer to the ground. Then before it hits me, I see the red eject button and slam it with the palm of my hand. And just like that, I’m free of the situation. I’ve bailed.
I was about a third of the way into the second draft of Security Bound (About Security Bound) and had gotten mired in an original chapter written several years ago. At that time, the story of my stay with relatives after my mother died seemed like a logical thing to include in the story. I liked everything about it–the dialog, events, my relatives as characters. The thing is, after I finished the first draft and had fully realized the story themes, I ought to have realized the chapter wasn’t entirely suited for the book. My self-indulgence set me up for the stall. I had been blinded by the satisfying dialog and narrative, and had lost sight of my objective. In short, I’d forgotten to file my flight plan. I could have spared myself countless hours of struggle and the on-going, misguided belief that the flight would never be aborted. If only, if only, if only.
Much of the chapter has now been summarized, with only one scene saved from the first draft, the one that best ties in with the themes of my memoir. From here on, I’ll strive to give the chapters more thought in terms of the plot criteria I’ve set for myself.