putting things in order
Every so often, I enter a very visual mode of operation.
So far, I’ve been writing Midnight Never Come along three separate tracks. The two primary ones are Deven and Lune, each of whom I’ve been writing as a continuous block of scenes; the secondary one consists of flashbacks, kept in a separate file. Last night I realized I was at the point where I needed to interleave the Deven and Lune scenes and decide how this opening chunk is going to flow, which also meant inserting flashbacks where appropriate.
I used index cards for this when I did it to the first half of Doppelganger (originally it was structured as three-chapter blocks of each character; my editor asked me to change it, and was right), but I knew that book like the back of my hand, so a couple of notes on a card were sufficient to guide my thinking. MNC is much newer, so this time I printed the actual manuscript out, shrinking fonts and margins so as not to waste more paper than necessary, and putting a page break at the end of each scene.
The top row is the beginning of the book; the second row is Deven; the third row is Lune; and the fourth row is flashbacks and the beginning of the next section.
And that’s it stitched together. I’m not entirely happy with the way things are weighted between the two characters, but now I can see that, and think about how to adjust it accordingly. I’ve gone into the actual file now, rearranged things, and inserted the flashbacks; miraculously, the novel is now almost 1500 words longer. Yay! (Not that this lets me off the hook for today’s writing.)
I think it’s time to go to 1590. There may turn out to be more things that need to happen in 1588, but I won’t know what they are until later.