Chapter 15: The Fall
*Spoiler alert for Chapter 15: The Fall
It’s mid-October and leaves in the trees are beginning to yellow and fall to the ground. Dustin can’t remember the change of seasons ever being so obvious or beautiful. At home, the home he still hopes to return to, roads, sidewalks, leaf blowers, and street sweepers conspire to rob people of the joy of autumn.
This is one of my favorite passages in the book. It's at the beginning of this chapter. If I am being totally honest, this chapter has some opportunity where I could have "decompressed" the story a bit though.
I learned a lot while writing and publishing this book. I've learned more while marketing the book. I'll continue to learn how to write well by reading books by others. I realize now that I missed the opportunity to tell al lot of "stories within the story" in this book. That's okay. This was meant to be a learning process, and it's still a good story.
I think I've mentioned before that I'll probably release a "2.0" version of the book someday. A version with more exposition through small stories. Probably after the prequel is released. Maybe a hardcover version? I think that would be fun.
Anyway, this chapter begins with a number of overlooked "stories within the story" I could have told: Damon in school, Damon bonding with Hope some more, or delving into Dustin's character arc a bit more.
Most writers say you never stop thinking about what more you could have done with a story, and this is very true. The cool thing about digital books, and being self-published though? I can do whatever I want. Release a new version. Smush this book together with the prequel for one giant epic. Whatever.
I referenced a band called The Nixons in a previous post, and they're back with a song that ended up being the title of this chapter, The Fall.
Is this the way do you recall any of this
Do you know where we're going
Can you see what's ahead, can you make out a path
Can we keep our footing
If you keep me awake and you can show me the way
I might sometimes lead
But for now for the fall can you promise that someone will catch me
- The Nixons, The Fall
If the lyrics for this song aren't a letter from Dustin to Holly, trying to reach out and understand what's happening to them, I don't know what is. Are they splitting up? Are they going to find their way forward together? If one of them slips, what happens then?
It just so happens to also describe the season we're in at this part of the story. How convenient for me. 😊
This chapter sets up a scenario with Dustin and Melissa that's been building in the book. They obviously enjoy each other's company, but it's always been a friendly relationship. One that's well within platonic bounds.
Dustin goes just to the edge of seeking more from the relationship, but pulls away. Was he about "to slip", or "lose his footing"? I hope readers feel just a minor amount of suspense in these moments. Did I set up Melissa's character as a love interest for Dustin? I am pleased with this not being clear to the reader.
Drop a comment about this though! Is it annoying that I strung this along with no "payoff"? I want to know what readers think! Don't forget about Twitter too.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy the song, and come back next time for the most important chapter in the book.
Soundtrack (thus far):
Bonus Track: Interstate Love Song - Stone Temple Pilots
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town - Pearl Jam
Bonus Track: Rockin' Chair - Oasis
Bonus Track: Happy - The Tories
Bonus Track: Song for You - Fuel
Follow as we build the soundtrack on Spotify!