Turfan Thoughts

Yesterday, I wrote the opening scene to Chapter 4, and I found myself hating it.

I studied my outline, and it says the Mongols catch up to the Russians and attack the caravan. The goal of the scene is to put the Russians on the run and limit their numbers to the main three [Mois-Ermak-Boris] plus 4, with Chagantai in tow. I don’t want to spend any time on their actual trek in the desert – I want to jump from the attack, to their finding the Uyghur Noble’s cave home. I also need to show Boris’s growing attachment to Chagantai, and show Burhan’s ruthlessness.

That’s a lot character-goals for just one chapter; it’s going to be ‘busy’. How do I start it?

I wrote the Mongols coming up on the camp just before dawn – Chagantai gives Boris head and Boris tells Moislav to clean him up [this scene shows Moislav’s hostility toward Chagantai] …When the Mongols attack, Moislav hurriedly gets dressed, dropping his miniature siddur [he keeps it hidden, attached to a waist chain]. Chagantai sees it and picks it up.

I realized when I laid down for bed last night that I wasted an opportunity to display Burhan’s ruthlessness, I should’ve opened the chapter with Burhan and his men finding the scout. They get him to reveal where his ‘brothers’ are located, and then Burhan arrives at the camp. I hope to re-write the opener this afternoon.


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