After beginning chapter 6 of my NaNoWriMo novel yesterday, I stopped short and read chapters 1-5 all together.
There is—intentionally—a great deal of dialogue. The action of this novel is driven by communication.
But I realized that in focusing on that element of the story, I had not yet given sufficient attention to establishing place: there isn’t yet “a there there.” In considering this, I looked at several beginnings of books that bear some resemblance to mine: multi-volume works for YA and up, and found them all very quick to establish place.
I also realized that in focusing on establishing characterization and setting the plot in motion, I hadn’t given the depth of thought necessary to establishing the persona of my narrator and attended consciously to choices about how the reader will encounter the story that currently resides in my mind and an odd collection of scraps of paper, computer files, and iPod notes.
So, today my plan is twofold: to find ways to incorporate setting detail and to begin reading (in one case) and rereading (in the other) Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative by Mieke Bal and The Rhetoric of Fiction by Wayne Booth.