Deconstructing a Novel: Step 3
This is another part of my deconstruction of Sue Grafton's J is for Judgement.
I pulled part Chapter 2.
It's another 3,000+ chapter
Kinsey is on the move.
She introduces her friend, Vera, and describes how she packs for a flight and how she is learning Spanish.
As she reads the file on Wendell, she reveals her own desire to assume a new identity and explains that she is a liar by nature.
The trip and the background reading is explained along with references to Kinsey’s philosophy of life and past cases she has dealt with.
In conversation with her plane seatmates, she learns about the hotel she is staying at. Then she describes the hotel and how she spends two days looking for the missing man and how Mac gives her to go ahead to keep on looking. He’s paying the bill.
She describes the town.
Half way through the chapter, she spots Wendell – or the man she thinks is him.
The rest of the chapter shows how she tries to find a way to make contact with Wendell, if indeed it is Wendell.
This chapter continues to sketch a profile of Kinsey and provides information on how she works and where she is. There are very few new facets here – just a lot of background deftly worked in and then an event that moves the story forward.
It’s a firm foundation for the story.
Grafton knows how to skip over the tedious parts by simply pointing out that two days have passed. There is no need to itemize in grim detail the events of the two days. They passed. Move on with the story.
While you have to keep your story moving, you also have to let people know what is happening. And, most importantly, you have to reveal the person's character. The reader has to relate, like, hate, or somehow become emotionally interested in the character.