I have finished editing my third chapter.
You may remember that Lady Lindford was pushing things on in the first chapter. As it turns out, she got her way most of the time. From a writing point of view, chapter 3 seems the right place to let someone enter the scene who is less inclined to dance to Lady Lindford’s tune.
I have, admittedly, always liked the third chapter. It had been strong even as a first draft.
Why is chapter 3 great?
It is great because Lady Linfield, one of my main characters (to brush up your memory, click here), meets her match.
In the past, Lady Linfield has continuously been challenged by a certain Robert – the hero of my novel. They meet for the first time after many years, and a sparkling dialogue evolves between them: they squabble, negotiate and try to get the upper hand above the other. It is a really witty scene (you may think me presumptuous, but you have not read the chapter).
Along the way, chapter 3 features preparations for an engagement party at a country house. The narrative moves thus “downstairs” and offers a closer look at the butler’s work.
I enjoy mixing the lives of “upstairs” and “downstairs” in my novel. Even if servants were not supposed to let themselves be seen in the Regency period, they belonged to a family and its home. When writing a novel, you can use a great narration technique: Have servants counteract or mirror the behavior of their betters.
Finally, chapter 3 lets the reader suspect that Robert has something up his sleeves. What is he up to? Well, this is left unanswered for the moment (to understand why, read about the arc of suspense here). I promise, though, that there is a good reason for it. And it will have its impact on the further course of events.