I'm working on the final (ha!) rewrite of my novel, coming up on part two. I did a lot of thinking and making notes before I started this rewrite, which included many Great Ideas, and most of that affected part one. Why? Because it was character stuff. I worked on figuring out how characters reacted to each other so that their throughlines were nice and straight and sturdy, not weak and floppy. I got really clear on character motivation. And so I breezed right through the rewriting of part one.
Its a damned good rewrite if I do say so myself. At one point as I was working on it I thought, this is the rewrite where I actually know what I'm doing, what I'm trying to accomplish. The previous four (yes, four, which is really not all that many) were more of the take a deep breath and dive in variety, which just speaks once again to the value of writing as a process. Sometimes you just gotta go with it and trust.
Now I am to part two and the hard work begins. I didn't take many notes or have many Great Ideas for this one. Because this is where the set up is long over and the weaving in begins. I-yi-yi. I-yi-yi again. I think everything is there it just needs to be rearranged some.
Which is where the deconstructing begins. This morning I took index cards and went through every chapter in question, five of them, and wrote down every scene. By this I mean every little discreet event of action, ie Emma Jean calls Riley and they argue (which could cover two pages) or Aunt Cleo and Bob arrive from Portland. I felt I needed to do this because in the dense chapters I couldn't remember what all happened. Plus they've been rearranged a few times already.
Committing scenes to cards really helped me get in my head what I have and where, exactly, it is. I've deconstructed part two and committed it to sepearate little pieces, like disassembling a puzzle. Now my plan is to throw all the cards up in the air and put them in order according to where they land.
Kidding. My plan is to lay them out on the bed or on the floor (if the Big Scary Beast Pug and the Demon Feline will stay away from them) and play with them, like that old kid's game Memory, where you match two like cards. Being able to see how the scenes currently flow should give me some good ideas on how to make them flow better. The truth is, I already got a lot of ideas as to how to do this just in the process of deconstructing. So I have high hopes for the rest of the process.