Friday, October 27, 2006

mulligan stew, anyone?

i have to have this book wrapped up in about 4 weeks. it's going pretty well, but what's weird is that i thought i'd FINALLY written a first draft with chapters that sequenced the way they should. nope. i don't know how this keeps happening, but it's like somebody shuffled the book and i have to figure out how to sequence the chapters. it's a brain puzzle -- not the kind of thinking i'm good at. the chapters could go a lot of ways and still make sense, but only a couple of ways will make for a strong read. or unweak read. i also realize i have about 10 or 12 POV characters. WTF? some are just mini scenes. I've always written scenes through the eyes of most impact. always. (yes, some readers/reviewers don't like that, but POV is my strength so i tend to milk it.) plus there are times when 3 or 4 or 5 scenes take place simultaneously, which explains the numerous POVs and also has something to do with the sequence problem. then i have one first-person character. hmmm. mulligan stew.

20 comments:

jason evans said...

Stop and listen to some Mozart or Bach for a while. Then have a cup of warm spiced cider.

When you pick it up again later, it will all fall into place. :)

Lara Adrian said...

I like POV stew! Can't help you on the scene juggling, but I trust you'll put everything into the best order, Anne.

Good luck with it!

p.s. Great cemetery pictures from the other day!

Tami said...

Good luck Anne. I'm sure you'll pull it through in no time and have one of those 'A-ha' moments. Those are always the best!

Mmmm, warmed spiced cider. I'm actually drinking that now! What's the chances? Unfortuntely it's the packet kind like hot chocolate comes in. Anyway, helps get the juices flowing!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Mulligan Stew indeed!

How do you keep it all straight in your brain?

anne frasier said...

jason, i tried hot chocolate with lots of marshmallows. that didn't help, so i'm going for a walk. i figure it will take a week to get it sequenced right, then i'll have to smooth out the transitions. right now i'm just plowing through the last 100 pages, then i'll deal with the puzzle.

lara, its good to hear you like POV stew!!! :D i just have to get my brain in the right place to figure it all out.

tami, oh yeah! those moments are GREAT! i always panic and forget the a-ha will probably come. thanks for reminding me. :)

sandra, i CAN'T keep it straight!!! that's my problem. it makes me brain hurt!!

Sandra Ruttan said...

Anne, I just tried to email you and I got it returned because of spam block...

pattinase (abbott) said...

In my novel that never was, I couldn't get two POVs past the agent, good for you for juggling so many. Makes for a richer and more satisfying narrative to my POV.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Anne, fyi, it isn't you. It's comcast blocking me, so until I get it sorted out with them, I can't email you anymore.

Buttheads.

Kel said...

Anne, I found out as I was writing my YA that because I was rushed, I was very un sure of myself. lol. In two weeks I had to do a major edit which involved writing new scenes and sticking them in the right places. I had no time to outline the chapters to see if made sense, just read over it and hoped it did. So I like your term mulligan stew because that's how I still kind of feel after I did the revisions, not sure if everything is in the right place and if any of it makes a story. haha

anne frasier said...

well, damn, sandra! i tried to remove all the spam blocking crap from my account, and it keeps telling me it's not my primary account so i can't tinker with it. i only have two accounts, and it tells me that for both of them. buttheads is right.

patti, that's so strange that an agent would demand one POV!!! that's very disturbing.

kelly, it's not a good feeling, that's for sure. i'm already having to let some ideas go simply because i don't have time to pursue them. i need to focus on tightening what i do have. and i imagine i'll be adding scenes later once i get the revision letter.

Jeff said...

Try taking the number 28 (4 weeks) and adding to it the total number of chapters in the manuscript. Then divide this by the number of POV characters. Taking the square root of the reciprocal of this number and multiplying it by the total number of scenes should provide you with the inverse order in which the chapters should appear.
This method has been shown to guarantee an unweak read. :)

anne frasier said...

jeff, LOL! you just saved my life!! thank you!!!

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Ah, arranging chapters. I'm struggling with that myself right now. I was humming along fine, then I suddenly realized I had so many plot threads and so many different ways to arrange things that I went into information overload.

I would up cutting out an entire character and a subplot that I realize was never going to work. And suddenly things started working out better. Hard to explain, but I'm good now.

And you will be, too.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

would=wound

anne frasier said...

rob, that's EXACTLY what's going on with me. i have all these threads, and i'm going to have to cut some of them. and unbelievably, i think i'm going to move page 200 to page 1, and page 250 to around page 70. i think my head is going to explode. :D frustration aside, it's actually kind of fun.

Daniel Hatadi said...

So what can we all learn from this? My take on it is that writing a novel is like putting together an unknown piece of Ikea furniture--without the instructions.

And we all know where the titles come from. Spam blockers!

I say call the next novel, Hweka.

BTW, really enjoying the first one, Anne. I'm supposed to be plotting my NaNoWriMo masterpiece, but your book keeps distracting me. :)

anne frasier said...

daniel: it IS like Ikea furniture. now i'm going to think of that everytime i go to ikea. :D that piece there? that's a short story. and that one? a friggin' trilogy.

sorry about the distraction.

no, not really. ;)

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Well, however you put it together I'm sure it'll be a fantastic read. Gotta say, doesn't have me looking forward to my own rewrites, though.

bekbek said...

I have always been an Ikea fan, and now you tell me it is also the source of great stories? Fantastic. Blumka!

Meanwhile... Do you visualize your structure? In screenwriting (101) I learned to paste cue cards up on a board. (If you'd just get cable you'd see it in Studio 60. Or you could watch an episode online, you know.)

I'm curious because I've never actually used it, having never actually written something. I've been writing something since I was 5. You'd think I would actually get some words on paper by now, eh?

In short, wow. You rock.

anne frasier said...

stephen, the second draft is my least favorite stage -- unless i get an editorial revision that basically amounts to a new book. then that would be my least favorite stage.

bekbek, i'm a visual person, so i thought i'd try colored cards this time around. or maybe that was last time around. anyway, i gave each character his or her own color, and broke down the scenes, had cards that covered the whole table. that lasted about two days, then i threw them all away. i think it took about 5 days to construct the damn thing not counting the quest for the right cards.

so i guess i could say it was a giant pain in the ass for me. i'm not at all mathematical, and i think that leans toward the mathy side of the brain. but i think i am logical, although some might argue with that.