Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rewriting and Reordering

Remember how I said I created an intricate numbering system to keep track of my scenes? Well, I’ve moved some things around and that exercise sure came in handy. Take a look at the new order of the scenes:

1C (and some new stuff)

This is only up to page 34, but I bet you get the picture. And do you know what was buried in chapter 14 of the first draft? Only the inciting event, the crisis moment that invokes a conflict that starts everything out that makes a character’s story interesting to tell right now at this very moment in their life. Yeah, that part. I thought I had it right there in chapter two, but it was kind of weak. It was an idea of a conflict, but when the actual forces started competing against one another in chapter 14 – 100 pages into the book – oh boy did things get good.

And for the record, here are the scenes I’ve deleted so far: 1A, 2C (what I thought was my inciting event), 3A, 4A, 4B, 4C, 4D, 5B-D, 6A, 6D. Okay, so maybe you could’ve figured things out by process of elimination, but I am here to make things easy for you.

My goal for the week (which you know already if you follow me at twitter.com/fictioncity) is to focus on getting the first fifty pages in shape to hand off for critique. For my first book, I wrote each draft linearly. I still absolutely believe in this approach for draft one. But the topic, and therefore structure, of this book is different from the first one and so the story feels more fuzzy to me this early on. I knew I really had to get a hold of what the story was about, what the main conflict was, what was at stake, etc. before I could write about the results of those things in the second draft.


  1. I'm trying to smile at your process--so I won't cry. I've been shuffling two chapters worth of scenes around for three days. You've given me hope that not only will these scenes find their proper place, but something brilliant might be uncovered in the process.

  2. Hey Linda, great job on the shuffling. Keep at it and the cards will fall into the right spot when they're ready. Sounds like you are almost there! Isn't this fun? Even though it's hard, mind-bending, frustrating work and all that...

  3. Fun? Absolutely! The creative power rush is worth every second of labor.