From the beginning, Doug's goal was to just write, daily. Mine was to write at least 500 words three days a week and edit a chapter. So, I wasn't just writing new material, I was editing old material. Scrivener doesn't count that. If you delete a word and add two new ones, you've only added one word to the work. A couple of times I was down 100 words! I started redlining words I was going to delete and that solved my deficit problem.
I set up folders for my theoretical chapters and started sorting my scenes. Another problem presented itself. I was still having to read each one to find out where it fell in the order. This is tedious, especially if you have "Chap 1, Chap 2, Chap 3, etc. You'll understand in a minute.
|Chapter/Scene headings in Text/scene view|
About the third week of January, I stumbled on an idea. I decided that my problem was time. In this story, things are happening in a relatively short span of time and there are four very vocal characters who are doing things at the same time in different places. I have always known that this was a problem with the story but I simply couldn't find a work around without creating this elaborate time line and keeping it handy to refer to every time I wrote something, moved something, or deleted something! Look, I didn't choose to use four POVs. Who'd do that? But they just won't shut up. And yes I know it is insane but you write your story and ...well... we'll write ours. Anyway, I knew I had to nail down the timeline if I was ever going to get this mess sorted.
|Note: time has replaced "chapter" headings.|
I was astounded how I began to get ideas and could actually move stuff out that either was in the wrong time frame or didn't even belong in this story. I was deleting more stuff and writing new stuff. All because I now had a time line in place to tell me where someone needed to be and when! It occurred to me that this should have been obvious sooner because the MC, Simon, is such a control freak he'd never go anywhere without some sort of calendar, either on his phone or in his head. And so would his former friend, Cameron.
The best part is that the chapter/scene headings can remain in the final draft as "chapter" divisions. I won't have to rewrite names over and over. Although, early in the process of establishing times, I've had to move things backward. By that I mean, I originally started the story on a Friday. You can see I've since pushed it back in the week. I've also moved some things back on the clock here and there. I may have to change heading if something needs to be moved on the timeline but that's still easier that the way I was doing it.
At our last meeting, I told Doug that time was really arbitrary. It doesn't really matter when it happened as long as, from that point on, it is consistent. And day and time is much easier than reordering a bunch of numerically ordered chapters.
So, there you have a review of what I did in January. In hindsight I can see I've done a lot. I've broken a rule here in that I've written about writing rather than writing the story. But I wanted to put something positive up that I could review when I get down on myself about how much I've accomplished.