Thursday, September 24, 2009

Lost in one's own novel

My latest novel, In Flight hit 72,ooo words this week, and of course the book is in my head, but as you can imagine, it's fairly hard to keep all those words in your head.

Last night, I created a calendar, keeping track of the major plot points of the book in a time line, which was a good thing, because then I could mention Father's Day and the 4th of July is coming soon and I think my characters just might want to mosey off the beaten track and do something kookie. Anyway, they will have to observe the day like everyone else.

I'm trying to figure out roughly how many words I need, and of course I can't quite estimate that. Four more big plot points, coming fairly close together. Bam. bam. bam.

So today I printed all 270 pages of the manuscript. Found a bunch of bad sentences. Have to make a major change to the beginning of the book. Was going to wait until I had a draft, but methinks I'll do it now. Nothing difficult, but adding a big dramatic scene. And then I find stuff I thought I had changed but I didn't. What's that all about?

Just managing one of these manuscripts takes some doing. I used to keep all the chapters/scenes in separate docs, but now I use one doc, and it sure does make it easier to find and fix problems.

So: now I have to read the damn thing, with my red pen poised. It's amazing how often you can go over these manuscripts and how often you find writing that can be improved. Work. Work. Work.

A peasant soup from the south of France for dinner--meatless, and quite tasty. Well, all that garlic. . . . We probably reek. Bon soir.

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