Days six through nine of the Year-End Project

Internet continues to be unreliable, making for late posts. And we shall not speak of Cablevision’s decision to cancel my service call without checking to see if I still needed it….   Cranky writer is cranky, as there’s stuff I need to research/sites I need to check…

A long post, catching us up.

Day Six:

Realized that where I’d opened chapter three was utterly and absolutely WRONG. *sigh* It’s a lovely scene, a perfect scene perhaps, and it does all the things I wanted it to do, but it asks the readers to take too much of a leap on faith, and I haven’t earned that faith yet.

New opening line: The almanac might say Spring, but Winter kept its fingers wrapped around the Midwest. 

So there, I’ve given the reader an idea of how much time has passed, and reminded us where we are, and also set the scene for how the POV character will be reacting (to the unexpected cold).

And, nearly 3000 words into the chapter, after reading my beta-readers’ notes and seeing a number of different comments on the same section – nobody had the same point to make but they all know something wasn’t right – I realize that I’d totally screwed the pooch on one of the subthemes. So fixing that – unwinding the threads and then sorting and reweaving them into the existing pattern – took most of the day. Brain, tired.

Best typo: “raising the ice book.” It took me a while to figure out that was supposed to be “raiding the ice box.”

Day Seven:

Ok, it was Christmas and therefore the annual tradition of the Sibling Lunch (wherein my mother and her sisters and brother and all the family within reach descend upon one of our favorite and most tolerant Chinese restaurants and take over the entire back for several hours.) So… only a few hours of work, most of which were spent agonizing over an incredibly important speech a secondary character gives that puts the ENTIRE BOOK in motion.

That speech gives me ulcers. I killed a lot of darlings, changed the emphasis, and made the speaker far more of an intentional trigger. I’m still not sure it works. But it works better that it did before.

And I’m in negative numbers for the day. Oh well.

Day Eight:

The end of useful beta-reader notes –and I’m the only one to notice the season shifted from early spring to early summer over the period of a month?  Tsk.  Chapter three is now in stronger shape, with motivations and justifications pulled to the fore.  I’m still struggling with one on-going thread, but suspect that may be a matter of “get to the end and look back over the whole” before I can see the solution.

Watching to see what patterns emerge to each section, and deciding it I want to intentionally maintain those patterns, or shake them up as the book goes along.  Structure’s weirdly (and yet, perhaps inevitably) really important here.

Day Nine:

Chapter 4.  Oh, chapter 4. Shall we just burn you to the ground and start again?  Yes, I think we will.   3500 words, burnt down and rebuilt so far…


24,500 words rewritten/revised/written.



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