Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Hey, Let's Make a List

First off, my stress is much less today as the pooch (picture to the left) seems to be fine. Knock on wood. I'm always nervous about saying that because it seems every time I do something else crops up to blindside me, but whatever was bugging her on Sunday doesn't seem to be bugging her now, so I'm thankful for small things.

So, given Coop's improved state of health, I found it easier to concentrate on my story evolution this morning for The Outlaw Bride, and in doing so discovered that yes, Houston, we do have a problem. I have scenes happening either too late or too soon in the story, and some that make no sense at all. Thankfully, it will probably just be a matter of juggling scenes around and cutting out others that have no business being there. I realized this about half an hour into my writing session this morning and tried to figure out the best way to approach this. Then it dawned on me - hey, why don't I make a list, a timeline to show the sequence of events as I had them now. It would make it much easier to see spread out on 5 pages, than on the scene capsules.

So I pulled up the FD30 Day Sheet, switched it to landscape format and added an extra column at the end called "Notes", a place where I can determine what needs to be changed, switched, question on things that don't make sense, etc. I filled in up to scene 30 this morning and hope to get some more done this evening after work. As I'm filling things out I'm realizing a lot of little things that I'm beginning to question, things that need to be changed, streamlined, or explored a little further.

It's going to mean more work, and probably adding about another week to getting this thing out the door to HQN, but in the end I think it makes more sense to take the time and make it as perfect as I can, rather than send out some half-assed attempt that isn't my best work and have it be rejected on that basis. An extra week doesn't seem worth shooting myself in the foot over. The editors at HQN aren't sitting in their offices impatiently tapping their fingers waiting, so I'm guessing they won't notice one way or the other. They will notice however if I send them a piece of crap with holes in the story large enough to fit your fist through.

Once I finish Day Sheet timeline, I'll use it to rearrange the scene capsules, making notes of what I need to change in them, and removing ones that are no longer useful. Then I'll take a second stab at the story evolution to see if the story is in better shape structure-wise before attacking the manuscript itself. This time with my keyboard and not with the blow torch I mentioned yesterday.


Tess said...

Kelly - Glad Coop is doing better! Fingers crossed (I know what you mean about the jinx factor - I once commented to someone that my cat hadn't had a bladder infection in two years - guess what happened that evening!)

As for timelines - I use them all the time. Being a software geek, I use a separate piece of software for it LOL! But it's so useful to know exactly what's happening when in your story. Good luck with the rest of the Evolution sheet :-)

kacey said...

glad the dog is feeling better!

Wow, you've been really organized on this story. It's been interesting reading your blog posts on this and how you used FD30 Days. I have that book, and skimmed through it, but never used it on a story.

Kelly said...

I find it really useful in organizing what I need to do and figuring out what isn't working. This is the first time I've used it on an already written manuscript and it's making the revisions much easier.

Melissa Marsh said...

I am somewhat organized with my WIP, but I know I'm not as organized as you! LOL But hey, whatever works, right? ;-)

ces said...

Kelly is the Queen.

Kelly said...

Hey maybe I should make that my new slogan?

Erin said...

Hey, you've been called worse. ;)

Glad Coop's doing better than that you've been able to calm down about concerning your story.

Nikki said...

Yay Coop! Who I keep referring to a "him" even though he's a "her". Please send her my apologies.

It seems a lot harder to do the FD30 after... but it seems to really be helping your story out. Glad to hear it's going well and you're back on track..

Michelle said...

Best of luck on the writing! Yes, wait until it's fabulous before you send it. They won't mind, I'm sure.