Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Big Jigsaw Puzzle

I'm eyebrow-deep in editing the eighth book in my Cotillion Ball Series. You'd think, with each successive book I write, that the edits would become fewer, and, to some degree, that is true. Punctuation, typos, proper use of words has become easier, and this manuscript is relatively clean from that standpoint. But content? That's a different kettle of fish.

My editor suggested that I take a pivotal scene from the back of the book and move it forward. Easy-peasy, I thought to begin with. Then I read what happened before and after the scene as it's currently written, and it's not easy at all to move it. Every scene in a novel is part of a big jigsaw puzzle, with each piece fitting seamlessly, if you're lucky, into the next so the story will flow. By pulling a piece out of the middle and repositioning it, you must also reposition all the surrounding pieces so they still fit together.

I've been thinking about how to accomplish this for several days now, since I think the editor is right, and the scene would be better if it were moved forward. I've been looking at the picture on the outside of the puzzle box for awhile, and think I've got it figured out. Now I just need to implement it.  I'll go back to the beginning of the manuscript starting on Monday, add in a few paragraphs to set up the pivotal scene, move it up, shore up my timeline and make sure Charlotte and George's opinions on the matter remain consistent, since they are Pepper's sounding boards during her process from war widow to satisfied bride.

After I finish tinkering, I'll go back and read the manuscript through one more time–the ad nauseum phase of any edit–and, once I'm sure it's polished to a spit shine, I'll send it back to the publisher. And I must accomplish this by July 13.

No pressure.

11 comments:

  1. (running around, pulling her hair out for you) Whoa, you go, girl.

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  2. Thanks, Kathleen, for the moral support. I'll get through it, and the book will be better for it. But next week will be a real challenge.

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  3. I'm still in rough draft phase. Edits will come at the end of the month, but I love this analogy.

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  4. Thanks, Lynn. Maybe I write because I also enjoy jigsaw puzzles (or the other way round)

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  5. That is a hard thing to do, moving scenes. I have one in my WIP. It was suppose to be two scenes with several others in the middle. But it wasn't strong enough to stand on it's own, so I merged the two together, so I had to modify the ones in the middle. ARGH! You can figure it out if I can. Good Luck.

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  6. I'm getting close to figuring it out. The end of the week can't happen soon enough.

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  7. Thanks, Thesis. Today's my day to figure it all out.

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