Wednesdays are often slow work days, and today was especially so. That suited me fine. I don't fast or take time off work for Yom Kippur, but I try to observe it as a quiet, low-key day.
So after I finished my work, I put on sunscreen and took my laptop out to Prospect Park. I had a picnic lunch, honoring my grandmother's scandalous custom. Then I opened up Scrivener and reread everything I'd written so far, and decided to tackle the scene where Nathaniel comes out to Algernon as trans.
Whoof, that was a hard one. Usually I can write 1500 words or so in a couple of hours. Today I wrote just over 800 words in two hours before J met me for dinner, and then another couple hundred just now to wrap it up. I know I can fix a lot in revisions, but this scene is so important to get right, because of how it influences their relationship development and their own individual stories. J and I talked it out a bit and he reminded me of the importance of maintaining dramatic tension, which is good, because of course I personally don't want to leave Nathaniel hanging for a minute, but it is kind of important for the book's arc--and for character accuracy and historical authenticity--if Algernon isn't perfectly understanding and cool with it from moment one. So I wrote the ending I wanted the scene to have, and then I cut that ending and put it in a separate file to attach to a later scene where Algernon (spoilers) decides he really doesn't mind if his boyfriend is a somewhat unusual boy. Poor Nathaniel, and the poor reader, will just have to endure the wait for that scene. (Fortunately there are plenty of other things that can happen in the meantime.)
Why had he wanted this irrepressible clown of a man to muffle himself with sincerity? It looked all wrong, like a pig in petticoats. Nathaniel felt embarrassed to have seen it.
He sighed with some theatricality. "My condolences, sir. You had the misfortune to find the one man in London who wouldn't gladly spend all day and night engaging in raunchy badinage."
To his relief, Algernon quirked a half-smile. "But I had the good fortune to find the one man in London who knows the word badinage."
"Surely there are others."
"All the rest are stuffy bores, save we two."
"You don't find me a stuffy bore? With my obstinate unwillingness to participate in the proper manly pursuit of speaking entirely from within one's trousers?"
"I am hardly a proper man," Algernon said.
Am I going to tell him? Nathaniel thought, and then, with astonishment, I believe I am.
"Neither am I," he said quietly.