I've been steadily writing the next (well, not the next--that's The Walled Flower--but the next for me) Victoria Square Mystery and it's been going along okay. Except for one little detail. I've been writing the book out of sequence.
What does that give me?
A great big MESS.
So yesterday I decided it was time to figure out where everything went. That was three hours printing out scenes that had never been printed before, studying the timeline, rearranging the timeline, rearranging the pages, and putting them into chapters in my big 3-ring notebook.
My books almost always have 25 chapters. Doesn't matter what series I'm writing, I write 25-chapter books. Right now (since it's only half finished) Victoria Square #3 (I've given up trying to title it. I'll leave that to the Berkley marketing department) has 18 chapters. You got it--I've got to come with with 7 more. (And one of the ones already accounted for only has two paragraphs in it.)
Today I have to take the electronic manuscript and actually put the pages in the right order. Oy! Not looking forward to that. Can you say CONFUSED? I figure that will take 2-3 hours. I'm hoping I still have enough brainpower left to actually write something, because while I was playing with the timeline, a lot of problems got solved. I don't work from a detailed synopsis--it's the timeline that keeps me on track while I'm writing the book. (I'm up to 5 single-spaced pages right now.)
So I hope to be on track and writing my heart out for the next 6-7 weeks because that's when I've got to turn the book in. I might be late. Heck, the book will sit on in my editor's hard drive for AT LEAST two months before he even looks at it, so I'm not going to be upset if I miss the deadline--and I suspect he won't either. He's up to his eyeballs in other authors' manuscripts. The problem with being late is ... I'll start the next book late, and it becomes a domino effect, and nobody wants that, either.
So ... today or tomorrow ... back on track. (I hope.)