Twenty- Twenty- Twenty-Four Scenes to Go-o-oh

I wanna be sedated

I suppose I should have said chapters, not scenes (but, of course, “chapters” would not suit the rhythm of the Ramones). I think the actual scene count is more like 30, and a soft 30 at that – inevitably I will find gaps that need to be bridged, pushing that number higher – but I think 24 is a fairly safe estimate for number of chapters remaining. I have currently written 22, and my word count is just shy of 50,00, so by both of those measures I am pretty much exactly halfway through (re)writing this novel.

Not bad, I suppose, considering I didn’t really seem to hit my stride and start working in earnest until April.

I suppose I should also count myself lucky that I have reached 50% of the book before hitting the “mushy middle” wherein I realize that I have a not insignificant gap between where my narrative is and the point at which my next string of events starts happening. I am debating whether I ought to tighten up the time by literally moving the events that have already happened forward a month or continuing to pluck the various storylines one by one and hope that one (or more) of them shakes down a couple events that are of narrative importance to happen to my characters in the next month of their lives.

From a word-count perspective the mushy middle also amounts to a small section of the whole…the point in my original draft from which I don’t expect much to change events-wise in this re-write to the end is 61,848 words. Even allowing that I will cut a third of them (leaving roughly 40,000 to be grafted to my current 50,000), with a projected total of no more than 100,000, this little gap in my outline can comprise no more than 5000 words, since I assume I will need to add in at least that many across the 40K to make everything flow smoothly. So as far as mushy middles go, this one is the shortest, quickest, and easiest to solve yet.

Unless, of course, the point from which nothing much changes is a mirage.

Unfortunately I feel like I need to parse out which direction I’m taking (shift the calendar or add events) before I move any further. The hero and heroine have established a good momentum. I don’t want to crash that by giving them nothing to do for a month except more of the same. I want the snowball to keep rolling down the hill and getting bigger and bigger – but I also want it to have enough rolling time that the point of no return is also believable (since one of my biggest complaints about 80% of current romance novels is the short time frame in which they take place).

At least the writing is still coming easy. At least there’s that.

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2 Comments

Filed under Housekeeping, Writing

2 responses to “Twenty- Twenty- Twenty-Four Scenes to Go-o-oh

  1. Ah, the problems of the writer.

    I’ve dealt with both: events and calendar. I’m doing final edits, and realized that the calendar looked sparse in the beginning, not because enough didn’t happen, but because there was too much time between the events that did happen.

    For me, adding events was NOT an option in this case – I’m barely getting them all into 160K words as it is.

    So, move the calendar it is. A few events moved two weeks, another couple 1 week, and it was done. I checked weather, and phases of the moon, made the necessary adjustments (SOMEONE will check if you don’t clean up your act, and point out that the moon was NOT full, but that, in fact, it was actually a NEW moon on that date…) and made up the new calendar.

    The last bit was to check that all the dates in the scenes – and scenes that in any way referred to those scenes – were correct in the new paradigm. And I will be hyperfocused on checking those dates as many times as it takes.

    So, you have my sympathy – but it sure improved things to do the change. And since I’d been mulling it for a while, the subconscious had already done most of the work. But the Muse is careless with details – so that’s my job.

    Good luck. Happy fixing.

    • Thanks! I think I will feel better once i decide for sure, and get the full sequence of events pinned down either way.
      If i move the timeline up it will be for the same reason – enough was there, it just had too many/too long gaps.
      In my case, though, i don’t know if my muse was being careless or just overworked, since he was busy re-tooling the entire first few weeks of their acquaintance 🙂
      Regardless, tonight my baby is asleep by 7:30 and my husband is conked out in there with him to keep him that way. I am about to pour a (small – gotta keep my wits about me) glass of wine and do some novel-mapping. Life in the fast lane, baby, yeah!

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