Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Scene Cards

Bloodflow (aka Nano or Nanotechnology) is a bitch of a book.  It didn't take me all that long to write the first draft, but man, since then, I've been putting off editing it because it is, as I said, a bitch of a book.  Because of the intricacies of the plot (sub-plots, threads, character growth, etc.), making sure everything flows in the order it's supposed to flow in ain't easy.

I started this sucker in May of 2008.  The first draft took me until February of 2009 - and most of the words were written during NaNo.  I edited - or tried to edit - from February until August to no avail.  I just couldn't get all the pieces together. 

Still, I think this could be a pretty good book.  I guess the best genre guess for it would be techno-thriller in the old Crichton sense with a dash of suspense or political intrigue thrown in (ala Follett or Flynn).  The government comes up with a plan to 'help' the American public and deal with the immigration problem, but someone has ideas of their own, and begins taking people out using nanotechnology.  There's a little romance thrown in between the government agent and the engineer who are racing to stop the bad guys before more people die.  Who the real bad guys are isn't readily apparent, and even the heroes aren't sure if they can trust each other.

Anyway, there's a lot going on - which is why this is a bitch of a book.  Sunday I think I finally surmounted that bitch.  I started writing up what I'm calling Scene Cards to try and keep track of everything that's going on. 

I have a ton of index cards lying around leftover from Daughter's Spanish class last year.  I took a pack and opened my manuscript.  Each card has the bones of one scene on it, like this:

Nano - scene
'Character X's' POV
-plot point
-story progression
-plot point
-character growth within the scene
-who's in the scene

When I'm through going through the manuscript - including all the villain POV scenes I snipped during one of my edit phases - I'll arrange the cards in their logical order.  If that works, I'll take those scenes and more them around until I have a cohesive story.  THEN I can began doing the deep edit I know this book needs.  Tada. 

Writing the plan out here, it sounds like a roundabout way of doing things, but so far, it's working for me.  If nothing else, it's freeing my mind up from thinking this is a bitch of a book I'll never finish to allowing me to see this thing isn't so bitchy after all.  It's just a little tougher than my other books. 

Have you ever done something out of your comfort zone to make a book work?  Have you ever written a book that you didn't feel like you could edit after it was done?  Or is that just me and my screwy brain? 

1 comment:

  1. Well, I wrote a trilogy, decided it was too long, and mashed books 2 and 3 together.

    I deleted 80,000 words. Now I'm changing or deleting all references to the deleted scenes, writing transitions, and recreating the characters that got combined into one person.

    The process is almost as slow as writing a whole new first draft!