Friday, July 31, 2009

How many times can I go through Chapter Eleven?

Don't I have to wait so many years? Just kidding... It's not THAT Chapter Eleven.

Did you ever get the feeling your manuscript was more like a jigsaw puzzle? Maybe you've put a piece into the wrong place, and that's why you can't find the piece you need now? Or maybe a Rubik's Cube would better describe it...

I cut out Chapter One. Yep, sure did. But it's not gone; it's right after Chapter Two. Or, should I say it is Chapter Two, and now Chapter Two is Chapter One? What about Chapter Nine? Well, it's way behind Chapter Twelve. So now it's Chapter ?? and Chapter Ten is Chapter Nine. And since I left off with Chapter Twelve, it is now Chapter Eleven. The old Chapter Nine will come along much later in the story...

Have I lost you yet? It was hard for me to keep my head straight too. I did a lot of editing last night. The first two chapters of my ms, being totally separate scenes, could easily be flipped. I decided, that since Chapter Two had much more 'grab' in the opening sentences than Chapter One, that it should be first. I am very please with the results.

Looking through my outline, I saw I needed to change the chain of events. Chapter Nine would be better off later in the book to keep the time-line more sensible. There will be many more chapters before that one now, so who knows what number it will end up being!

It wasn't easy, taking the saw blade to my book. I loved the jump from Eight to Nine, and from Nine to Ten. (I'll let you know what chapter it becomes; then, if you read it someday, you can see what I'm talking about.) It was like taking a pair of scissors to your grandmother's wedding gown. But hey, if it doesn't fit... We must bear in mind that our readers have no interest in our grandmother's wardrobe. If we do not consider their taste, how will we be successful?

I surmised the general market for my book would be distracted rather than pleased by the jump. (Sometimes they just fail to see the artistry:)

It was a very good lesson for me. Sometimes we get into such a strong flow that it can lead to erosion! But changing the flow of my chapters, my book now has a flow that will be more relaxing. So have your inner-tubes ready...

8 comments:

Stephanie Faris said...

I did that recently to one of my books...but then I worried about continuity. I decided I was more aware of the cut than any reader would be...it's just sometimes hard to see your own work objectively.

Lazy Writer said...

I had to reorder my whole book because my lovely mother pointed out to me that my order of events made my story unbelievable. (And I don't mean in a good way, here!) Anyway, I know it was hard work for you, but I'm sure it was all worth it. I got my tube ready!

Rae said...

I am ready for the journey. Bring on those chapters so we can go for a ride. I already know it will be brilliant.

TC said...

I'm ready for the journey too. I can't imagine keeping it all straight, is it easier to keep it straight when you are reading it? I'm afraid I'd be like some authors and contradict what I said earlier in the book, not fun.

Riceman said...

hahah i dont want to send it yet its still only concepts and its all over the place. ill send it to you when im comfortable :) i was just wondering if you would read it

Sharon McPherson: AUTHOR / ARTIST said...

Hey, great post! This must be part of the writing process; as I too took out chapter one, cut it into pieces and scattered these through the first section of my novel as flashbacks. Much better.

It's great hearing about writer's struggles and challenges ... it does help to keep us poor wannabe novelists motivated. Thank you so much for sharing. :)

Lesley said...

I have never written a book, but I know that even in my short copywriting assignments, editing is SUCH an important part of the process! Keep at it, Mzz Lily - we are all excited to read the final product!

SquirrelQueen said...

Back in my newspaper days I thought about writing a book. The story line was great and I had the basics on paper. But the actual writing is a lot of work and it just fell by the wayside.

You are doing great, very organized. But I'm ready for another little tidbit of your story. Maybe a itty bitty morsel?