Writing a novel is a lot like building a house. In the case, it’s more like renovating a house as I wrote the original version some time back. Storming Amargosa is what real estate people euphemistically call “a fixer upper.” Though rarely does that term apply to new construction.
Last week, I talked about how, so far, this process consisted more of rearranging and editing, changing points of view, occasionally adding a scene. I wrote that blog post on Sunday before calling it a week and kicking back for Jim Winter’s James Bond Marathon. (Goldfinger. Did you know Louisville, KY, had palm trees along US 42 back in 1964?)
Aaaaaaand then I started Chapter 7, a JT Austin chapter, his second. That required rewrites, new scenes, and replacements for existing scenes. I also discovered something I had done that Scrivener users will laugh at uproariously. Since time immemorial, I’ve written all my chapters as separate Word documents, copying them into a master document when each is completed. So when I finished this one, a 10,500-word mother that could have been its own short story, I went dumpster-diving for an earlier scene to check something. Not there.
I decided to go by headings in Word’s search function. I had the opening scene, four interludes, and three chapters, Chapter 1 not among them. Yikes!
So there I am on my break from Uber, sitting in Starbucks furiously copying and pasting all the existing chapters into a new master document. Thank God I outline. I was able to find the scene I wanted to reference that way. I also could see I was not diligent in updating my master copy. That’s the manuscript upon which Grammarly will run and the version Clayborn Press gets will be based.
Fortunately for me, I’ve run across a saying from special forces (that needs to be worked into this story) that helps.
Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast.