Although I'm still wrapping up chapter 10, I'm also beginning chapter 11, about Bobby, the younger brother in the family who is now in the hospital. This chapter is a long time in coming, because Bobby has been a mystery to me all along. What part of myself does he represent? What is his function in this story? Gradually, these answers are coming to me. But much is still vague, and the writing shows it.
I typically write two chapters at a time. The current chapter in the sequence, and the one immediately after. They have to be connected, and this is the best way for me to connect them, by writing them in tandem. As one chapter comes to a close, the next comes into focus. So today it's been Bobby's chapter.
He's a mystical child. He talks to an imaginary friend, Goodfriend, who is the actual narrator of the novel and not imaginary at all. Bobby's family marvels at his storytelling abilities and the breadth of his knowledge for a six year old. Bobby is a budding artist. His challenge will be to remain one. An encounter with death will close his mind, which panics the narrator. I believe that in the end, Bobby will emerge as a prototype for me, the writer, the person capable of telling this story, with the suggestion that he will eventually work through his darkness and re-open his mind.