Wednesday, July 08, 2009


This is what I look like when I realize I have some major rearranging to do in the middle of my book.

For instance, yesterday.

How did I know I had changes to make?

It didn't feel right.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but that's the way I work much of time. Call it instinct or intuition, it's been that way since I first sat down to write.

I don't do big outlines. I don't map out the plot or character development. I don't use different color post-its for different elements - unless I'm totally, utterly stumped as to what's going on with the story.

But most of the time, it's just me reading and thinking the story's either working's not.

And then I start fixing and moving and deleting. Here are the revised notes I made (what? Everybody doesn't revise their notes on their revisions?), starting in Chapter 12 (out of a current 24):

On the terrace - use kiss from Chap. 15, pgs. 218-219
Esme flees (causes a bit of a scene) [that's a different ending to that particular situation] - use her reaction from Chap. 13, pg. 192-193 (marked with red ink) [because there's another bit outlined with pink highlighter on that page]

Go to Quinn @ the club, Chap. 14, pgs. 194 etc. Interruption Mrs. L-J etc

She goes to McH in his office [which means this scene is in a different place now and other material gets cut] Put confrontation with McH from Chap. 13 here in McH's office

McH has heard the rumor re E's condition - continue to almost consummation scene

As you can see, I'm putting bits from later chapters earlier, changing a setting, deleting material - and this is in the third draft.

Which tells me there will probably be five complete drafts by the time I'm finished.

I also decided I couldn't continue until I'd done all this rearranging and read it through to see if it makes better sense. I'm pretty sure it will from a pacing point of view; I want to make sure it does from a character and relationship point of view.

So now you know what I'll be doing for the next little while, when I'm not getting ready for the wedding tea we're hosting later in the month.

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