Progress: 30,423 words, Four Chapters (All first or second draft)
Taking a brief research time out from my novel for some reading and research may slow my novel progression, but it shouldn’t excuse me from my updates.
Nathaniel has made it to Philadelphia, hitching a ride on the mail coach at a premium rate. Cabot, the villain, who forced Nathaniel on this trip, actually covered the expense. Is Cabot just the type of guy who takes care of the details? Did he do it to keep Nathaniel from saying he couldn’t afford to leave? I think it’s both, but it’s also that in doing so, it created a transaction that solidified Nathaniel as Cabot’s employee. I believe Cabot most of all wants to dominate over Nathaniel, and officially being someone’s boss creates that feeling.
Right now I’m reading up on ships, which led me to this book Two Years Before the Mast, which I was fortunate enough to find available to read on Google Books. A lot of the best details I’m finding for the novel are through books available here. I’m also reading A History of Philadelphia 1609-1884, Volume 3. Sometimes the reading is tedious, but every time I latch onto a great detail I know it will be all the easier for my readers to time travel with me, and that’s exciting.
I have a paragraph I’d like to share with you. It’s an important one as it reflects America in this transitional phase, where towns are becoming cities, and where there is beauty in the chaos. It also reflects Nathaniel’s resolve, where he does not want to move forward on this task, but he will because it means returning to his daughter, and possibly putting this villain in his past. One final detail: Philadelphia was once both the state and national capital, but by 1812 it was neither.
Nathaniel had enough to cover a hotel but chose to walk the streets until daylight. He toured the various wards, passing stores, dwellings, meeting halls, fire houses, banks, schools, and hospitals. The buildings were in the thousands, all classically designed, beautiful in their simple symmetry. The developed lots were mostly to the east, hugging the Delaware, and he could smell the water at every intersection. At dawn he was on Chestnut Street, staring at the remnants of the state house. Its steeple had rotted away, torn down decades before. Piles of broken red brick and mortar were what remained of the building’s wings. The government had abandoned this city. Yellow fever killed thousands. Philadelphia continued anyway. Nathaniel turned and headed to the river, squinting as the sun pierced through the obstacles to the horizon.
I hope you enjoyed it. There’s a bit I might work in about the second floor of the building being used for Peale’s museum and gallery, but haven’t quite figured it out.
Do you have a novel in the works? How far along are you? Tell me about it in the comments. Be sure to Subscribe and follow.
Thanks for reading.