Jumping scenes

I thought I was ready to sit down and tighten up the novel and complete that first, full, cover to cover draft. I went so far as to write the barebones of two scenes I knew were missing, but there was an overwhelming sense that something wasn’t right.

Boy, was I wrong to start trying to write.

pressure sensitive adhesive note paper in action.

The end result of my revision work last weekend was to reveal startling gaps, breaks, and outright scars in the fabric of reality in my little entroverse. I thought (hubris!) that I could work around this. Nope.

What I’m doing about it

Last night I pulled up google spreadsheets (because it was convenient) and started writing down where every single one of my scenes started and ended currently.

Why I did that

Tada, I could see even more points where the novel jumped, leapt, and even repeated itself on occasion. I completely missed some of these when doing a straight read through since they were broken up by different POV’s.

What I caught by accident

Some of my “scenes” ran through two, three, even four locales in a thousand words or less. I’m not saying there’s any hard and fast rule that one scene should encapsulate one locale – but five locales in one scene? That seems a bit much, suggesting that I have a lot of room for growth. Which is good, because as I mentioned somewhere (here? twitter?), I ended up cutting something like six scenes and 8,000 words. Some of it will resurface, but a lot of it was clunky crap that really didn’t fit any more. The worst part was that the bulk of what I cut was the material that had been the original seed – the short story that couldn’t fit in its britches originally until I grew and expanded it to the point of being a novel length project.

Next, I want to run through all of the notes I mindlessly recorded and translate those back into scene notes and place holders. My current goal is to act on everything I noted so that I can get on with doing what I started this for – writing a novel.

I no longer hold onto the illusion that I will finish by a certain date, but I am ready to finish. Not because I’m tired of working on this novel, per se, but because I’m ready to see it as a cohesive, completed whole that I can then lob at my early readers and hungrily demand immediate feedback from.

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2 thoughts on “Jumping scenes”

  1. I had a character change names 3 times in 8 pages. And I had no idea. And THAT’S only one reason why I have yet to finish editing mine. Keep it up….I believe in you….

  2. yeah, but i know for a fact you believe in leprechauns too, while the rest of us all know that they’ll just rob you blind and take your fig newtons soon as you’re back’s turned.

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