Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Putting the pieces together

Puzzle piece I've been working on the new Booktown book for about 8 weeks now, and feeling like I was making pretty good (but not great) progress. I'd written all the main scenes of the main plot.  Unfortunately, I hadn't written them in order.  I had a vague idea of where the story was going (although I think I have six suspects and no clue whodunit).

Last week I had a hard time getting to work on it--part of that had to due with contract negotiations for the next three books.  I was so bamboozled by the net outcome that I was too frazzled to write.  That's not good because the whole idea is that I'm going to be writing MORE not less.

Monday I figured out why I was stalled:  Duh--I had run out of main story!  Time to work on all the connections for those main plot scenes.  But first, I had to put them in order.  That sounds easy, but when your document is one long string of unconnected scenes . . . talk about messy.

Pink suitcase I sat down with my time line and my list of scenes and starting figuring out which scene went on what day.  Of course, I thought the story started on Monday but then realized that too much was happening too fast and had to move the start back to Sunday, which means I have to get Angelica to change clothes in the first scene.  (Oy!  As it is the woman doesn't travel light.  Uh, just like ... her creator.)

Next up, putting the scenes in order on the manuscript.  That meant printing them all out and trying to put them into chapters.  I usually have between 24-26 chapters in a book.  Separating these scenes gave me 13 chapters.  Then, as I was putting the chapters in my notebook, I realized I had one of my big scenes in the wrong spot.  Okay, move it back and renumber the next 20 pages.

Now that I can see the flow of the main story, I can (and did) start writing the connecting scenes.  Whoo-hoo!  For the 2nd day this month, I actually got my daily word quota.  (I was doing pretty good and making at least half or three-quarters up until last week.)

Of course, the big, black hole of Thanksgiving and having a house guest looms before me.  (Did I mention I have galley proofs that are due this month, too?)  I write in the dining room.  My guest will be stationed in the adjacent living room for most of my working day.  Not that she'll make a peep, it's just knowing somebody is there will mean I ain't gonna get any writing done.  (Good time to work on the galley proofs, huh?)

White-christmas I've got three craft shows coming up.  I've got decorating the house for Christmas coming up.  Christmas shopping.  Christmas baking.  I've GOT to work in all my annual Christmas movie watching, too.  (Hey, I've seen White Christmas at least 43 times--I've GOT to see it for the 44th time or it won't be Christmas.)

I've said it before and I'll say it again:  I need at least another four hours in my day.  EVERY day.

I don't want to cut out any of the "fun" stuff for Christmas, and yet I need to get my work done, too.

How about you?

 (How did I get so much accomplished when I had a day job, too?)