Friday, May 15, 2009

Serves Me Right

I hate outlines. Wait, that needs italics. I hate outlines.

But I do see their point.

Take, for example, this.

Critiquer R pointed out that about mid-way through the book, the characters are exploring the world, looking around, talking...but not really focused on the murders happening on the ship. But, I thought, that's where I'm putting in all that pretty world building.

Critiquer E pointed out that in the first couple of chapters I need more world building. But, I thought, I didn't know enough about the world when I first wrote those chapters. I added all that pretty world building later.

Flashforward to tonight. I'm staring at the book, wondering how to add more action to those world building chapters in the middle, more background to those first chapters. Oh. Oh. OH. I've got to move the world building in the middle chapters to the beginning chapters, and then rewrite those middle chapters to focus more on the action.

That's 12,000 (or so) words that need to be rearranged and rewritten. It's like chopping off a foot and attaching it to a shoulder. We're talking major surgery here.

I talked it over with the Husband, in part because he reads more sci fi than me, and I wanted to make sure my world-building-method wasn't cliche for the genre.

"That makes so much more sense to put all that middle stuff here at the beginning," says he.

"I know that now," says I.

"Why didn't you just do it that way the first time?"

Me: *growl*

"You know, I think this would have been so much simpler if you'd just thought this through. Like with an outline or something."

Me: *stabs husband in the face and traipses off to collect insurance money*

Just kidding! (They don't give insurance money for face stabbings. I know. I checked.)

OK, OK, OK. Enough whining. I've got 12k words to rearrange. *karate chops manuscript*
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