So, this weekend was spent rewriting entire chunks of FOSSEGRIM for project agent revise & resubmit. And, while I’m still not an adept of all that is revision-love, I have to say it was kind of interesting to go back and actually change the direction of a manuscript.
In this case, I needed to add a new plotline revealing more about my MC’s roots and who his parents were (Basically material I’d hoped to include in book II).
And the line begins about midway through the book and then needs to be woven in throughout the story until it gets its piece of the newly-written climax. This was not easy, and I still have a lot of clean-up to do once I’m done with the initial rewriting.
My manuscript has jumped 17,500 words and 58 pages in the last six weeks, bringing my total close to 92k. Which is a lot, me thinks. So there’s going to have to be some scenes weighed and clipped.
This whole experience has me wondering- how do you structure your novels? I mean, there are so many things to take into account, like:
Sequence of events
Relationships and Interactions
And then you throw chapter marks and pacing into the mix, and it’s like trying to put together a very tricky recipe. You slip up on the temp, or the measurements of certain ingredients and the overall taste can be affected, tipping the whole dish too sweet, bitter, or spicy.
How do you find that careful balance?
I think a lot of my initial structure is based on ‘feeling’ as I’m reading through a draft. I get a pretty good notion (most of the time) as to which scene would flow well, where. And I usually write and organize my scenes with an outline (or several outlines) based on the themes above to try and keep things going in the right direction.
However, now that I’m faced with a situation where I have to weave in, not only new material, but changed material, and a whole other point-of-view with its own arcs and revelations, I find myself spending a lot of time playing critical-scene jenga with my manuscript.
My chapter breaks have flown out the window, because if I kept them as they were, I’d end up with some 6 page chapters and some 18 page chapters. Finding a way to break off from the original story and move on with a different character without tripping up the pacing has been its own can of worms, too. And don’t get me started on the right-time-for-revelation hokey pokey. *sigh*
How do you go about structuring your novels and finding that careful balance?