Anyone for poker?

21 Jan

Time for a quick update on the editing process, for those of you who are following it avidly.

 As I said before, I have reduced my entire novel to 70 index cards, and now I am busy trying to shuffle these scenes into an appropriate order; which I must say is harder than it first appears.  One of the things I discovered when laying the cards out on my floor was that my initial draft was seriously challenged in the chronology department.  Each thread followed in order, but when you examined them side-by-side, it became apparent that I was jumping back and forth in time every time I changed to a different character group.  Not ideal.

 Another thing I noticed was that I tended to write in a style very reminiscent  reminiscent remen… similar to Terry Pratchett.  I jump quickly back and forth between scenes, rather than fleshing out one scene to its conclusion, and then moving on to the next, like J.R.R. Tolkien, who could dedicate an entire book to one scene without changing perspective or characters.

I think I like this style, as it conveys the urgency of the book, which actually takes place over the course of about 24 hours.  But I have put some of the scenes together to try and make longer ones.  We will see how this works.

It has been an interesting experience to see my book laid out in cards, and to realise how many scenes DON’T actuallyt work where they are, because the short interlude between then seems pointless.  Now that I have shuffled them around, I need to find a way of sticking in a few extra cards with scenes that need to be added. 

Or I could just shuffle and re-deal, and write them in that order.  (Hey, it worked for Joseph Heller.)


Posted by on January 21, 2009 in Novel


Tags: ,

2 responses to “Anyone for poker?

  1. davidseven

    January 21, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    In no way do I mean to imply by this post that Joseph Heller wrote Catch-22 by dropping his manuscript, and being too lazy to sort the pages. I have no evidence of this.

    On the other hand, can anyone else explain it?

  2. Crystal

    January 27, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    A lot of the beat poets worked like that. They wrote things then tore up the pieces and put them back together in random ways.


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